For too long our area has suffered from a lack of properly joined up planning by different Councils and non-Governmental organisations; and nowhere more than in health and care. Our frontline public services are fragmented, with NHS England addressing Health whilst the County Council works on Care and the District Councils plan housing development. We need far more joined up thinking and planning of services.
With a growing elderly population needing more healthcare, and Councils building more houses, we must ensure that infrastructure is being properly planned to cope with these additional population pressures. Crucial to addressing this demand is the better integration of NHS and Social Care services. Put simply, if we enable more people to be seen and treated in the community rather than in the most specialist and expensive places in our healthcare system (hospitals) we can create a more cost effective system, improve patient care and create a better patient experience.
I believe the best people to drive these changes are the NHS clinical and Care sector leaders and professionals who are on the frontline every day and have first-hand experience of the issues faced by our NHS and care services. That’s why I’ve been holding a series of meetings and inviting feedback from across Mid Norfolk to investigate how Health and Care can be improved for our area. I think it’s time to look at whether having 8 Councils, 5 Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS England and a separate Mental Health Trust all organising Healthcare is really the best way to plan and deliver a properly organised local Health and Care system.
I have recently written to all GP surgeries in my constituency to ask for feedback from the frontline and organised a series of meetings with NHS England, local hospital and Care providers, pharmacies and CCGs.
The 3 key changes I am calling for are:
1. Greater integration of NHS and Council Social Care;
2. Better integration of (District) Council planning of new housing and (County) Council planning of care services and NHS planning of health services;
3. More back office efficiency savings across Norfolk (particularly within the County Council) to protect front line services.
Please do get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know if you have any particular views on our local health and care services in Mid Norfolk and any suggestions you may have as a user or a provider on how to improve our services.