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Norfolk and Waveney becomes one of seven ‘accelerator sites’ for Ageing Well

Norfolk and Waveney becomes one of seven ‘accelerator sites’ for Ageing Well

We’re delighted to let you know that the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership (our STP) has been selected as one of seven new “Ageing Well” accelerator sites in England.

The seven accelerator sites will share a total pot of £14m of additional monies to develop a 2-hour community response to help older people remain safely at home when their heath deteriorates, and avoid hospital admissions.

Here in Norfolk and Waveney we are ahead of the curve; we already have Network Escalation Avoidance Teams (NEATs) in each of the five ‘locality’ areas (West, North, South, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Waveney). NEATs are teams of staff from different community-based health and care organisations working together who take calls from frontline doctors, nurses, social care staff or other professionals when a patient is facing a crisis and would otherwise need to go to hospital. The teams quickly put together a co-ordinated package of care and look at how the person can be supported in the future to avoid a similar crisis.

The NEATS currently operate ‘in-hours’ Monday to Friday, so with our ‘accelerator site’ status and funding we are looking at how NEATS could operate for longer. This will be achieved by collaboration between system partners. The NEAT in Norwich was the first to launch and has had really significant success in helping patients remain safely at home and avoid a future crisis.

NCH&C CEO, Josie Spencer, is the Chair of Norfolk and Waveney Ageing Well Steering Group. She said: “Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership is delighted to have been selected as one of the seven accelerator sites to support the delivery of the new national standard for urgent community response.

“Norfolk and Waveney is predominantly rural and spread over a large geographical footprint. Providing effective integrated care and support to our population of over 900,000 people is a challenge that we are already working as an integrated health and care system to address.

“Being an Ageing Well accelerator site means we will receive investment to help us make additional real changes to the way we work, providing coordinated assessments of people in need of urgent support. This will ensure people receive suitable care in the quickest possible time, in the most appropriate place.”

NHS England chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said: “The NHS working hand in glove in the community with council-funded social care services can be the difference between an older person or someone with long-term health needs spending a week or a month on a ward – or getting the right help early so they don’t need to go to hospital in the first place.

“That’s why as part of our Long Term Plan for the NHS we are putting community services front and centre, and backing them with a growing share of the NHS budget – and putting in place these new standards will give people and their families peace of mind about what they can expect from their local services when they need help most.”

Click here to read more about Ageing Well as part of the NHS Long Term Plan