Health organisation out of special measures

The organisation which oversees health and care systems in Norfolk is improving, according to NHS England.

It has removed the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) from special measures and also feels it needs less intensive support.

The organisation was originally highlighted because its quality, performance and finances were not up to scratch.

In a statement, it said there were improvements but these need to be sustained.

Key improvements highlighted by the Norfolk and Waveney ICB include:

  • Key quality improvements and progress at two trusts. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn NHS Trust exited special measures in April 2022 and last February the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust moved from a CQC rating of Inadequate to Requires Improvement.
  • Sustained improvement in performance in urgent and emergency care services, to include the establishment of virtual wards at all three acute trusts.
  • Improvements in discharge planning and patient flow, helping to reduce the length of time people stay in hospital, decreasing their need to be readmitted and improving their overall experience.
  • Significant and sustained improvement in ambulance response times and handovers, enabling ambulances to quickly get back on the road so they can get to the next person who needs help.
  • A system wide reduction in the longest waits for people who require a mental health bed, with further ongoing improvements planned.
  • Greater efficiencies and progress against financial plans through closer collaborative working with partners.

Tracey Bleakley, Chief Executive Officer, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that the hard work and dedication of our 27,000 NHS staff working in Norfolk and Waveney has been recognised, and that together we have made the improvements needed to exit the Recovery Support Programme. This is just the first step of our ambition to improving individual services for local people and making the whole health and care system work better together to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives. There’s much to do over the coming months and years, but I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who is working so hard in health, care and public services across Norfolk and Waveney.”

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair, NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, said:

“This is a tremendous demonstration of the hard work and commitment of NHS staff working together to improve local health services. It also reflects the strong partnership that we have been developing within the NHS and with many other partners including colleagues in local government; voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations; and residential and domiciliary social care. I want to thank everyone involved. We know there is a great deal more to do to support people to live longer, healthier and happier lives. But I hope that this achievement will give everyone confidence that, by working together, we can continue to improve and ensure that all our residents get the high quality, integrated care they deserve.”