Full steam ahead for Great Yarmouth and Waveney healthcare overhaul

MORE than 70 clinicians and healthcare professionals have met to discuss the plans for the future of healthcare in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Hospital doctors, GPs, pharmacists and physiotherapists were among the group who met with members of social care, local authorities and patients as part of an Accelerated Design Event (ADE).

The event was to plan the future of healthcare so clinicians delivered to patients in a co-ordinated way.

The event was run by HealthEast, the new GP commissioning consortium in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, which will progressively be assuming responsibility for the planning and buying of healthcare services by April 2013.

Dr John Stammers, chairman of HealthEast and a member of the Design Team, said: “We clearly need to plan how we work together but we have the ambition, skills and the right people here in Great Yarmouth and Waveney to do the job and this clearly came through at the event.”

Currently healthcare is bought – or commissioned – by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, as the primary care trust (PCT) for the 230,000 patients in the patch. Taxpayers’ money is allocated to the PCT and then contracts and costs are agreed for services such as doctors, dentists, hospitals, community services and mental health.

The GP consortium was formed last year and the move over from the PCT to the new commissioning group will be ongoing until April 2013.

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Andy Evans, chief executive officer from HealthEast, said: “Lots of ground was covered by getting so many clinicians and key stakeholders together to discuss how we will work. It was fantastic to finish the two days with clear actions and goals.”

The action plan is currently being drafted following the event, which took place earlier this month, but discussion around organising services, funding, partnership working and better communication were areas that were looked at.

Kate Gill, director of corporate affairs for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “There was a lot of energy and some realism from all involved – we now have got to make it happen.”