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Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is preparing for major changes to local commissioning and services ahead of 1 July 2022, when each part of the country will have an integrated care system (ICS).

ICSs bring together local councils and NHS organisations to commission and deliver joined-up health and care services, including assistive technology services, to improve the lives of people in their area. The idea is to break down traditional silos between the health and social care sectors and deliver care in a more preventative and person-centred way.

From 1 July 2022, in line with the Health and Care Act, ICSs will have legal status and include a statutory integrated care partnership (ICP).

Rt Hon, Patricia Hewitt, Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney ICS and Chair-designate of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “There is nothing more important than our own and our family’s health. It’s why, as a country, we treasure the NHS, social care services and its dedicated staff.

“But vital though it is, the NHS only accounts for a fraction of our physical and mental health and wellbeing. All the rest depends on other things: our environment – whether we have decent work, enough money, close family and friends, a warm home, clean air – and our own lifestyles.

“The development of our Integrated Care System is a unique opportunity to bring together the many different partners who support the health and wellbeing of Norfolk and Waveney’s almost 1.1 million residents: the staff and organisations working in the NHS and social care; local government with its responsibilities for public health, social care, housing, leisure and the environment; the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; and many others in the public and private sectors.”

Norfolk and Waveney will also have a new NHS body called NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB). NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB will replace NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG. As well as taking on the existing responsibilities of the CCG, the new ICB will be accountable for the performance and finances of the NHS across Norfolk and Waveney – a total budget of £2 billion a year.

The current CCG will become part of Norfolk and Waveney ICS, working with partners in local government, the voluntary sector, and others, and helping the NHS to support broader social and economic development and tackle inequalities in health outcomes.

Norfolk and Waveney ICP will also be established as a formal alliance of partners with a role in improving the health and wellbeing of residents. Together, the ICP will be responsible for agreeing an integrated care strategy for improving the health care, social care and public health across the whole of Norfolk and Waveney. The Norfolk and Waveney ICP will bring together the NHS, local government, the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and other partners to focus on prevention, wider social and economic factors affecting people’s health and reducing health inequalities.

Rt Hon, Patricia Hewitt continued: “Although we started working together well before the pandemic, the COVID-19 vaccination programme showed how our GPs, nurses and other staff in primary and community care could work together with their local council, community and faith groups, mobilising volunteers and drawing on the support of the wider system to create one of the most successful vaccination schemes in the country. That local approach will be the foundation of our Integrated Care System, supported by health and wellbeing partnerships that bring together local government with the voluntary sector, the NHS and other key partners.

“Just as local people know best what their community needs if they are to flourish, each of us is the expert in our own lives. And all of us have a responsibility for our own health and wellbeing. So our Integrated Care System will have at its heart a constant process of listening to people, learning from their experience and acting on what we hear.

“We now have a unique opportunity to build on what we’ve achieved, to tackle the backlog of waiting lists left by the pandemic and to transform and integrate care around the needs of people, families and communities. By working together, we can help people lead longer, healthier, happier lives.”

Cllr Bill Borrett, Chair-designate of the Norfolk and Waveney ICP, added: “The new ICS is the first step towards a more wide ranging, holistic approach to health and social care, that our residents expect and deserve. I look forward to creating a system where the whole process, from the first GP appointment to the long term care package, gives people consistent, informed support that doesn’t require them to spend hours answering the same questions over and over to different organisations.

“There’s a lot of work for the ICS to do, but that work has already started and will ensure that people across Norfolk and Waveney will receive health and care services that meet their needs across the board.”

Similar to Norfolk and Waveney ICS, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Integrated Care System is preparing for major commissioning changes in July. All six CCGs in the area will be replaced by a single integrated care board (ICB).

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