More than 23,000 vulnerable patients were helped through a pioneering scheme coordinated by NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG. The unique project, the first of its kind in the country, provided extra support for patients who are more likely to become unwell due to coronavirus (COVID-19) by monitoring their health on a regular basis.
Patients in Norfolk and Waveney who were part of the national NHS drive, advising them to shield themselves by staying at home for 12 weeks, plus a further 9,000 people that local GPs from across Norfolk and Waveney wanted to monitor more closely were all invited to be a part of the scheme.
They were asked to check in every day by telling health teams about their health and whether they needed assistance.
If there were problems identified or if the teams thought someone might need some extra help, teams of volunteers phoned the individuals to check they were alright.
Over the course of the programme a quarter of a million patients interactions was recorded, checking on their welfare and raising alerts for additional health, medication and social support such as food and medication collection. In total, 12,000 ‘calls to action’ were generated with assistance being provided by a number of organisations across Norfolk and Suffolk.
Volunteers from seven organisations including NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS Arden and Gem Commissioning Support Unit, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, James Paget University Hospital, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, West Social Prescribing team and the Red Cross all committed to calling patients across the area on a regular basis.
The scheme has now been paused following the end of the shielding period set by the Government however the CCG is looking at replicating the scheme to help manage patients’ health in the future or if a second wave occurs.
With this in mind the CCG undertook an engagement exercise to find out what people who used the service thought and to discover why some people chose not to engage. The information gathered has been used to inform subsequent projects. You can read the full report here.