Local people will have better, more joined up care as Norfolk and Waveney’s health and care services become an Integrated Care System from next month.

Integrated Care Systems, which require all parts of the NHS to work with each other, local councils and other partners, are being rolled out across the country from April. The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership will be one of 42 systems across England, and involves our local hospitals, community and mental health trusts, GP practices, local councils and other care providers.

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Independent Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership, said: “Before the pandemic, the NHS, local councils and the voluntary sector had been working more closely together to support people’s health and wellbeing.

“But partnership working has dramatically accelerated in response to the pandemic crisis. As a result, our amazing GPs, community and hospital staff, social workers, volunteers and many others have been able to care for thousands of patients with COVID-19, had regular contact with vulnerable people to support them during the pandemic and delivered over half a million vaccines to people, all while continuing to provide care for a wide range of other conditions.” 

Local health and care services have been working together over the past few years to really break down barriers between organisations and improve people’s care. And from April, an interim Partnership Board will oversee the work of health and care organisations. This will enable greater collaboration, which is essential for improving services, preventing people from getting ill and addressing health inequalities.

Melanie Craig, Chief Executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG and Executive Lead for the partnership said: “Working even more closely together as an Integrated Care System will not only help us to address the impact of the pandemic on local NHS and care services, but it gives us a unique opportunity to support people to improve their health and wellbeing and to tackle the health inequalities that affect too many people in Norfolk and Waveney.”

Leaders of local health and care services will be discussing progress with the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the impact of the pandemic on services when the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership meets in public for the first time on 8 April.

Members of the public will be able to view the meeting and ask questions about the issues being discussed. Further information about how to do this can be found here. Papers for the meeting will also be available on the website from 1 April 2021.