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Norwich commissioning group lays out its vision for future of healthcare

PUBLISHED: 11:07 28 February 2013 | UPDATED: 11:18 28 February 2013

A graphic illustrating the health inequalities faced by the new NHS Norwich CCG in the city. Click to enlarge. Credit: ANNETTE HUDSON

A graphic illustrating the health inequalities faced by the new NHS Norwich CCG in the city. Click to enlarge. Credit: ANNETTE HUDSON


Tackling health deprivation, more choice for patients and better quality services – that is the vision of the new body in charge of providing Norwich’s healthcare.

Preventative treatment, partnerships with local authorities and private groups, and taking care to patients’ homes are all central to a long-term plan revealed today by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group.

On April 1, the CCG will become the single body responsible for commissioning healthcare in the Greater Norwich area, and one of five catering for the area previously served by NHS Norfolk and Waveney, ensuring that necessary health services are in place for patients.

The change is the result of the coalition government’s large-scale restructuring of the National Health Service – but what will the changes mean for the group’s 208,000 patients?

Presenting the group’s five-year manifesto, developed after a year of consultation, co-chair Dr Cath Robinson said the focus was on prevention and wellbeing, as well as treatment.

“Our plan is about how people can get healthy, stay healthy and, ultimately, stay out of hospital,” she said. “Time in hospital is just about the most expensive way to spend money, and we can do a lot more with it if we keep people out.”

Narrowing the gap between the healthiest and least healthy areas, and raising everyone’s health, requires the work of more than just doctors however.

Norwich currently lags significantly behind national averages in key categories, including teenage pregnancy, early deaths from cancer, hospital stays for self-harm and male life expectancy – as well as other indicators with long-standing links to health, such as educational standards, child poverty levels, violent crime and long-term unemployment.

The CCG plans to work with partners including Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council and Norfolk County Council to improve health education, and with the newly-launched Healthy Norwich network to promote healthier lifestyles in and around the city. We want to address the social determinants of health, not just the genetic ones,” said Dr Robinson.

That multi-agency approach, and greater use of preventative measures – “catching people upstream to stop the flow downstream” – will in the long-term lead to savings through fewer expensive treatments, added Dr Robinson.

One initiative with Slimming World has already shown benefits, with doctors writing prescriptions for diet group classes to help patients lose weight.

“If you reduce the number of diabetics in the future, you reduce the angst, the morbidity and the misery, and you also reduce the costs of treatment,” said Dr Robinson.

Messages and programmes will be targeted to reach those most at risk, or those unlikely to know about them, said Jonathon Fagge, chief executive of the CCG.

“We will really break things down into small areas, and work out how we can best influence people,” he said. “For example, if we are looking to reach men aged 25 to 50, then targeting Norwich City football matches could be a good place to start.”

Patient choice will also be improved, says the group, with an emphasis on treating people in their own homes and in their communities.

Dr Chris Price, who will chair the group from April 1, said: “Our patients tell us that they want to be treated at home – when an older person goes into hospital it can be very difficult to get them out again.

“Families sometimes have the attitude of ‘let’s get you into hospital’ like it’s a problem solved, when in fact it can just be the start of the problem.

“We want to make the alternative – care in their own home – just as easy.”

NHS Norwich CCG is responsible for making sure the necessary NHS services are in place through contracts with other NHS trusts or private providers. It will also work with other CCGs across Norfolk and Waveney to commission care from providers such as the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health NHS Trust, and Norfolk Community Health and Care.


  • I heard on radio Norfolk this morning that most GP's only work part-time, no wonder that the sick and dying have to wait weeks to see one.

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    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • Same people, same practises, same 'ethics'. NHS Norwich CCG is responsible for making sure the necessary NHS services are in place through contracts with other NHS trusts or private providers. So of course more over-paid jobs for managers, admin, pen pushers, bean counters, and any other cronies with the right connections before they can worry about spending anything at all on front-line patient services. More freeloaders means less money for services, which in turn means you need even more freeloaders to conjure efficiency programmes and implement front-line cuts.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • canuk - by some stroke of genious, intentionally or not, you have laid down the blueprint for "detoxifying" the NHS. I beleive that the NHS is afflicted by the same issue as our banks - infested by parasites that detract from its ability to function with its intended purpose, not least by said parasites imposing an enormous financial drain for no obvious benefit. Therefore I fully expect Hester to become NHS supremo once he's finished despoiling RBS. The NHS will be split in two: "high street" or clinical services being the public-facing part; and the "casino" part where a lot of people pay themselves huge amounts without benefiting the public in any way.

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    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • If the Section 75 NHS regulations go through all of these NHS services will have to put out to competitive tender.They effectively abolish the NHS.It must not be allowed to happen.

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    Peter Watson

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

  • While there were problems with the old NHS, changing everything to trusts, which all had to have Boards and CEO's and all the clerical staff that goes with them, in hindsight might not have been the best idea. What the best idea would be I do not know, prehaps the best plan would be for the country to be divided for health purposes into , I don't know , say ten areas with one top man, who oversees that area, who in turn is responsible to the Minister of Health.

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    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • Which all sounds great, until you are reminded that these are the same people who have agreed to allow Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Trust to destroy services to some of the most vulnerable people in society and cut the number of consultants by 37%, the number of senior nurses by one third, the number of career grade doctors by more than 50% and slash beds even though patients are being sent to the Priory in Essex because there are no beds free in Norfolk or Suffolk. 500 frontline staff lose their jobs while 807 penpushers keep theirs and the Trust Executive Board pays itself more than £750,000 p.a. Why is the CCG allowing this to happen? In private, not a single doctor believes this to be safe or workable and the Trust does not have a proper implementation plan. Mid-Stafford?

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    Thursday, February 28, 2013

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