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North Norfolk’s Enhanced Care Homes Team celebrates outstanding achievement at Parliamentary Awards

A service in North Norfolk which helps people in care homes remain safe and well at home when a health problem arises, rather than have to go to hospital, has scooped a major accolade.

The Enhanced Care Homes Team (ECHT) from North Norfolk Primary Care was announced Regional Champions for the East of England at the NHS Parliamentary Awards in London.

The team was awarded Excellence in Primary Care for demonstrating services that improved the review, assessment and holistic care of care home patients, which led to significant reductions in unplanned admissions and A&E attendances.

The service is commissioned by NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). North Norfolk Primary Care is an affiliation of the nineteen GP practices in North Norfolk.

The Enhanced Care Homes Team is a small, multi-disciplinary team which includes advanced nurse practitioners, nurses and healthcare assistants, allocated to GP practices and the care home patients they support. The service enhances the support already provided by the GP practices; whilst helping to free up GP time to focus on the highest risk patients.

The team, who were nominated for the award by Duncan Baker MP, were recognised for their efforts in working with patients to help them stay healthy for as long as possible, helping to release time back into GP Practices to care for more complex patients.

The team also work closely to share their experience to help care homes, and the GP practices under the North Norfolk Primary Care alliance, cope better with patients and enhance quality outputs which has proved invaluable over the pandemic.

Mark Burgis, Director of Primary, Urgent and Emergency Care for NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “This is fantastic news and testament to the hard work and dedication of the team in supporting people in care homes to remain safe and well at home. We know many people prefer to be cared for at home rather than in hospital. Not only is that better for them, reducing the risk of infection or loss of mobility for older people in particular, but it also means that more beds are available for others who need care too, easing pressure on A&E and other parts of the system.”

Natalie Catley, Service Delivery Lead & Workforce Lead for North Norfolk Primary Care said: “I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to showcase the hard work and commitment delivered by the North Norfolk Primary Care ECHT.

“The team has remained patient-focused pre and post-Covid and have been instrumental in supporting North Norfolk practices and their care homes reduce hospital admissions and keep patients in their preferred place of care.”

The annual awards programme is designed to give Members of Parliament (MPs) the opportunity to recognise the achievements of teams and organisations and provide an occasion for health and social care organisations to engage with their local MPs.

James Leeming, CEO at North Norfolk Primary Care, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the ECHT and recognises the hard work and dedication that they have shown on a continuous basis throughout the COVID19 pandemic.

“They have been flexible in how they work to ensure that they can best meet the needs of local patients and also dovetail with the practices and local GPs in North Norfolk to provide the best care possible in a very challenging year for all. We are incredibly lucky to have such a talented group of people that work together in such a positive way. I believe that they can continue to develop and grow as a team and as a service for the people of North Norfolk.” 

The Awards Ceremony, which was hosted by Channel 5’s GPs Behind Closed Doors’ Dr Sara Kayat and attended by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, was held at Parliament with limited attendance from shortlisted nominees and MPs. The event took place on July 7.


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