Pioneering scheme set to launch in Norwich to create ‘rapid response’ community health and social worker teams

Your Norwich aims to transform health and social care in Norwich.

Your Norwich aims to transform health and social care in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

A pioneering scheme to create 'rapid response' teams of community health and social workers is set to be unveiled in Norwich, which aims to improve the care of hundreds of vulnerable patients.

The GP-led group in charge of NHS purse strings in the city has pledged to plough £16m into the scheme over the next two years to integrate health and care services to help provide better treatment and support for people in their own homes and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.

Officials from Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will launch Your Norwich next month with the aim that local patients will be able to access 24/7 NHS community nursing, therapy and social care as quick as it takes to get a response from calling 999.

The multi-million pound project has been developed with support from national health think tank The King's Fund to help transform care across the Norwich area. The initiative will involve GPs across Norwich, social workers from Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, community mental health teams from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and voluntary organisations such as Age UK Norwich.

The scheme, which will focus on older patients and those with long-term conditions, will involve the creation of an electronic care plan that can be shared across the NHS stating a patient's wishes and support network details.

Chris Price, chairman of Norwich CCG, said GPs were often frustrated by the time it took to put a package of care together and patients sometimes ended up in hospital because their home care had fallen down.

'Patients want local services provided closer to their homes and based on their own needs. We want to put packages of care together as responsive as calling 999 and I think we can do that,' he said.

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Dr Price added that he hoped the project would 'stem the tide' of year-on-year increases in emergency admissions at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Mark Easton, interim chief executive of Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, added: 'We strive to help local patients to remain as healthy and independent as possible and to remain in the comfort of their own home, rather than being admitted to hospital unnecessarily.'

'We have a good track record of working closely with our partners to join up services and utilising technology in order to offer patients the very best care. These commissioning plans and associated investment will enable us to build on this strong foundation, so even more local patients can benefit from our expanding services.'

Your Norwich will be launched at the Norwich CCG AGM at Open in Bank Plain from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday, June 24, which will be open to members of the public.

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