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More communication needed with public over redesign of Norfolk’s NHS, according to man leading the project

PUBLISHED: 18:16 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:28 16 August 2017

Antek Lejk, who is the chief officer for South Norfolk and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, will take on the role of leading the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Photo: North Norfolk CCG

Antek Lejk, who is the chief officer for South Norfolk and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, will take on the role of leading the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Photo: North Norfolk CCG

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The man responsible for leading the redesign of Norfolk and Waveney’s NHS said more communication was needed with the public.

Antek Lejk made the comments following his recent appointment as the new executive lead for the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP).

The document, which was published in November, details the need for savings over the next five years from our NHS.

Health chiefs in Norfolk and Waveney have earmarked £300m of savings between now and 2021 as the cash squeeze tightens and demand for services increases.

They have also come up with £150m of proposed investment under the STP.

Mr Lejk said the plan aimed to design “better” pathways of care to ensure people get the “right service at the right point”.

But he said the one problem was that it had not been shared with the public.

He said: “I think we need to do a bit more simple communication as to what we are trying to achieve. This isn’t about doing bad things, it is about improving things.”

Mr Lejk, who is the chief officer for South Norfolk and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups, replaced Dr Wendy Thomson as the STP’s lead executive.

He said: “A lot of the pressure in the NHS is around the fact that growing numbers of people are going into hospital even more than you would expect from an aging population.

“They are going there because we haven’t got alternatives for them. If we can invest in those alternative, health and social care wrapped around local communities people will need to go to hospital less frequently.”

Health chiefs said without the changes the health and social care system would be £416m in the red by 2021 in Norfolk and Waveney.

Mr Lejk said: “We are looking at investing in more people working in the community. There will be more access to support, health and social care, more therapists and support out of hours.

“So if someone is falling into a bit of a crisis, rather than calling an ambulance and going to hospital, what we need to do is wrap some care around them.

“What you will see over time, and we are starting to see this now, is fewer people turning up at A&E. The more we can help people not go to A&E, the better.”

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