Health and care professionals in Norfolk and Waveney have been given more than half a million pounds to help build new multi-agency partnerships. The money is being used to develop Primary Care Networks (PCNs), a new way for local professionals such as GPs, social workers, mental health practitioners and community services to work together within local communities.
NHS England has awarded a total of £535,000 to the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which is made up of local NHS organisations, Norfolk County Council and Suffolk County Council as well as the voluntary sector and Healthwatch.
There are 20 Primary Care Networks being developed across Norfolk and Waveney, each one based around a list of registered patients of between 25,000-70,000 people. The aim is for GP practices within each PCN to work in partnership with each other and other professionals in community and social care to deliver care that is more joined up and delivered closer to home.
Dr Simon Cooke of the Oak Street Medical Practice in Norwich said: “By developing PCNs we can offer patients truly joined-up services closer to home so they won’t have to keep repeating their story to multiple health and care professionals. They will get the continuous and personalised care they value.
“But PCNs will also benefit health and care professionals because we will become part of a larger and more resilient partnership. GP practices within each PCN can work much more closely with each other as well professionals from other organisations to develop and share resources and expertise.”
Patricia Hewitt, Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney STP, said: “I am delighted that by coming together as a partnership, the STP is bringing additional money into the area so that we can offer real, positive change for our residents.”
A spokesperson for NHS England said: “Primary Care Networks build on the core of current primary care services and enable greater provision of proactive, personalised, coordinated and more integrated health and social care. Clinicians describe this as a change from reactively providing appointments to proactive care for the people and communities they serve. Where emerging PCNS are already in place in parts of the country, there are clear benefits for patients and clinicians.”