NHS orders intensive support for Norfolk and Waveney health system

Four sections of Norfolk and Waveney's health system has been placed in the NHS's new category for special measures. 

Four sections of Norfolk and Waveney's health system has been placed in the NHS's new category for special measures. - Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Poor finances and performance has seen Norfolk and Waveney's health system plunged into the NHS's new category for special measures. 

The county's integrated care system (ICS) has been told it and three other health services requires "mandated intensive support" under NHS England and Improvement's new recovery support programme (RSP). 

The ICS, which is the partnership between health and care organisations in the region, requires this support due to its financial deficit and that two of its provider trusts are currently in special measures. 

The East of England Ambulance Service, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has also been placed in segment four of the RSP. 

This means the services will be under strict control measures including the ability to change leadership if necessary and the appointment of an improvement director. 

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A spokesperson for Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) said: “We are committed to improving the system’s financial position and urgent care performance, as well as moving at pace with our plans to support two of our providers to leave special measures.

"The system welcomes the additional support to address these ongoing challenges and embed lasting solutions.”

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The ICS said the system was experiencing pressures on urgent care and mental health services as seen across the country.

The RSP has been set up to place trusts, clinical commissioning groups and ICSs, into one of four categories, and takes into account previous ratings on financial performance as well as CQC inspections. 

Under segment four, NHS England and Improvement will target issues that triggered the support and long-term solutions needed to address services. 

An external third party may also be brought in to provide further support.

A Care Quality Commission spokesman said: "The improvement director will coordinate support and help develop an improvement plan. The improvement plan will include an indicative timescale for meeting the exit criteria. This is typically within 12 months."

Under the new measures, 16 trusts have been placed in segment four, including 12 which were already subject to old special measure regimes. 

The Norfolk and Waveney ICS said a plan would be finalised in due course.

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