‘Stronger plan’ for mental health needed after national NHS chiefs scrutinise first draft of major new health plan for Norfolk and Waveney

Mistakes in patient care cost the NHS in our region £35m. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Mistakes in patient care cost the NHS in our region £35m. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A bigger focus on mental health must be delivered as part of a major new health plan for Norfolk and Waveney – local health chiefs have been told.

NHS England has said 'stronger plans' for mental health are needed after giving feedback to the region's Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP).

It comes one month ahead of the deadline for the STP to be completed – after which it is likely to be the first step of a radical programme of change to how healthcare is provided across the area.

Across England STPs are being drawn up to show how health and social care can be delivered in the next five years – with Norfolk and Waveney facing a £0.5bn deficit by 2020 unless changes are made.

Yesterday members of Norfolk County Council's health and wellbeing board were given an update on the region's STP.

Other feedback from NHS England included providing year-on-year financial trajectories, stating more clearly the impact on quality of care, and giving stronger examples of how bosses plan to solve challenges in the acute sector.

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After the meeting it was confirmed STP leaders, which comprise the chief executives of hospitals, clinical commissioning groups (CCG), and other health bodies, are spending £472,000 on help from KPMG.

The consultancy firm has been hired to analyse and pass on lessons from new care models that are being tested in other parts of the country.

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A spokesman for the Norfolk and Waveney STP said: 'We consider that the appointment of an independent and experienced external organisation will bring added strength to our STP and will help to ensure proposals are impartial, robust, and in the best interests of the whole system.

'KPMG's work will be funded from the budget for delivering the STP agreed with the partner organisations across the Norfolk and Waveney health and care system.'

A public consultation is also planned but details have not yet been given.

Health and Wellbeing board member Ian Mack, who is also chairman of West Norfolk CCG, said he wanted as much detail as possible of the STP made publicly available when his CCG's governing body meets in October.

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