Partnership pilot to improve care to patients

Posted on April 3, 2009. Filed under: Integrated care, Press/News Releases |

NHS Norfolk | Press/News Release | 1 April 2009

NHS Norfolk, Norfolk County Council and a number of General Practices across the county and Norfolk Community Health Care are to participate in a major national trial to prove the benefits of much closer working between GP services, social services and community based health services such as District Nursing.

Norfolk will be working nationally with 16 other areas to demonstrate that by closer joint working between the NHS and social services much joined up care and better outcomes can be achieved for people with complex health and social problems.

Over the next year six areas of the county will benefit from the new style of service where patients and users can expect much simpler access to health and social care, the allocation of a key worker to manage their care, and more streamlined assessments. The objectives of the pilot include achieving an increase in patient satisfaction, avoiding unnecessary admissions to hospital and care homes, and promoting people’s independence and choice.

Dr Ian Mack, GP and lead clinician for the project for NHS Norfolk, said: “GPs, Community Nurses and Social Workers all play a vital role in treating and supporting people with illness and disability. This pilot programme will help us all to work much closer together.”

“It will remove many of the barriers to communication between professionals, unnecessary bureaucracy will be removed and services to patients will be delivered in a quicker and more coordinated way. We also hope it will improve the quality of life to both patients and their families. GPs and Community staff are excited about the opportunity the pilot presents”

Sheila Adams-O’Shea, Managing Director of Norfolk Community Health Care said:
“This is an exciting opportunity for community services, GPs and social services to work in partnership for the benefit of patients. I am delighted that Norfolk Community Health Care will be involved in this national pilot, which could have such a major impact on the way we plan and deliver services in the future.”

The Department of Health is co- funding the pilot with NHS Norfolk and Norfolk County Council and will run for 3 years with a major national evaluation. However NHS Norfolk/Norfolk County Council Programme Director Mark Taylor commented “if we can see clear benefits from the pilots – and we believe we will – then our ambition is to make this type of care the norm across the county as quickly as possible”

James Bullion, Assistant Director, Adult Social Care, Norfolk County Council, commented “This is great news for Norfolk and will support the changes the County Council is making in seeking to make access to social care much easier for the public.”

The scheme will see patients in Norwich, Thetford, mid-Norfolk, Fakenham, Wells and Holt, Swaffham and Downham Market and King’s Lynn benefiting from a new style service, providing simpler access to health and social care.

Notes For Editors:
The project is also being supported by the Norfolk and Norwich University Foundation Trust and Norfolk & Waveney Mental Health Partnership Foundation Trust.

For more information on the integrated care pilot programme:

The desired outcomes are to achieve (for a specified target population):
1. Improved quality of care, health, equity and economy, at a faster rate than in comparable populations
2. Improved patient and user satisfaction, reported outcomes and quality of life 
3. Improved partnerships in care provision
4. Better use of scarce resources and more effective and economic delivery systems
5. Improved relationships, governance, risk management and innovation in specific delivery systems

Care plans are one of NHS East of England’s key recommendations within their clinical vision, ‘Towards the best together’. For further information:

Gary Belfield, Director of Commissioning, Department of Health, said: “We’re delighted to welcome NHS Norfolk and Norfolk County Council to the programme of Integrated Care Pilots. The programme is about giving those in health and social care the opportunity to trial new ways of working to improve the quality, convenience and effectiveness of services for patients. NHS Norfolk and Norfolk County Council clearly demonstrated they were looking to try something new that had the potential to really make a difference.”

Health Minister, Ben Bradshaw said: “We know that patients with conditions like cardiovascular disease frequently have social care needs as well as health ones. This programme provides an opportunity for clinicians – working closely with the community more widely – to use their ‘on the ground’ knowledge to design services that are flexible, personalised and seamless. That way, people will get the integrated health and social care they need, all in one place, to help manage their condition effectively.”

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said: “The pilots start today and will run for two years. They will be evaluated over three years against a set of national and local measures, including impact on health outcomes, improved quality of care, service user satisfaction, and effective relationships and systems.”

Media Contact:
Jayne Ashworth

Head of Media
Tel: 01603 257057

NHS Norfolk, Lakeside 400, Old Chapel Way, Broadland Business Park, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, NR7 0WG

For further information contact Communications


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