The local health system

The Norfolk and Waveney health ‘system’

The NHS is one organisation, but with many local parts to it, all under the control of NHS England and Improvement. Most people are very familiar with the NHS. They have a GP, they know there is a local hospital, community or mental health service, ambulance service, 111 service, and others. They work together, in a complex ‘system’, very closely with adult and children’s care services, for the benefit of patients and their families.

The structure of the NHS is always evolving in response to legislation. Its current structure reflects the requirements of the National Health Service Act 2006, the amended Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the NHS Long Term Plan 2019.

The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership

In 2016, NHS organisations and local councils joined forces in every part of England to develop proposals for improved health and care. They formed Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) – to run services in a more coordinated way, to agree shared priorities, and to plan collectively how to improve residents’ day-to-day health, wellbeing and care.

Our local partnership is called the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership. The partnership has three overarching goals:

1. To make sure that people can live as healthy a life as possible.

This means preventing avoidable illness and tackling the root causes of poor health. We know the health and wellbeing of people living in some parts of Norfolk and Waveney is significantly poorer – how healthy you are should not depend on where you live. This is something we must change.

2. To make sure that you only have to tell your story once.

Too often people have to explain to different health and care professionals what has happened in their lives, why they need help, the health conditions they have and which medication they are on. Services have to work better together.

3. To make Norfolk and Waveney the best place to work in health and care.

Having the best staff, and supporting them to work well together, will improve the working lives of our staff, and mean people get high quality, personalised and compassionate care.

The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership has led to transformational projects such as more community-based mental health service and more mental health ‘crisis’ services, mental health strategy, a trainee nursing associates programme, bringing together local GP surgeries into Primary Care Networks, more evening and weekend GP appointments and a host of other innovations which lead to greater efficiency and resilience.

The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership is expecting to be made an “Integrated Care System” in 2020/21.

Find out more about the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership.

NHS England and Improvement

NHS England and Improvement is the national NHS body, our regional team is called NHS England and NHS Improvement - East of England.

The regional teams

  • work closely with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and acute trusts to support the commissioning of high-quality services
  • jointly commission GP practices with the CCG.
  • directly commission other primary care and specialised services (ie dentists, prison health, inpatient child adolescent mental health service) at a local level across England
  • provide professional leadership for finance, nursing, medical, specialised commissioning, patients and information, human resources and organisational development, and assurance and delivery


NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Norfolk has one CCG which is called the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. It is led and staffed by doctors, nurses and other professionals.

For more about the CCG see About Us

Primary Care Networks

Primary care networks (PCNs) are groups of GP practices working closely together with other community, mental health and social care staff to join-up health and care services through multi-professional teams to patients in the community.

Patients remain registered with their own GP practice, but by working as part of a network, GP practices will share expertise and resources.

View YouTube video

Main health service providers for Norfolk and Waveney

Acute hospitals provide planned care for patients with any kind of illness or unplanned (emergency) care for people with a sudden or worsening illness or injury.

The three main hospitals are:

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (Norwich)

James Paget University Hospital (Great Yarmouth)

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (Kings Lynn)

Some people may be referred to specialist health services provided outside of Norfolk due to their needs for example:

Addenbrooks Hospital (Cambridge)

Great Ormond Street Hospital (London)

Ida Darwin Adolescent unit (Cambridge) 

Community Health providers

Community Health providers may offer health visiting, physiotherapy, district nursing, and school nursing and immunisation, speech and language therapy, and smoking cessation.

Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust

East Coast Community Healthcare

Universal Healthy Child Programme (Commissioned by Public Health)

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust

Strategic Bodies

Public Health England

Provides national leadership and expert services to support public health, and also works with local government and the NHS to respond to emergencies.

County Councils are responsible for protecting and improving public health in their areas, by helping people lead healthy lifestyles and stay safe from threats to their health. The public health team work on:

  • Raising awareness of healthy lifestyles and buying relevant services, such as stop smoking and weight management services
  • Providing information to understand the needs of the county’s population and compare it to other parts of the country – to help us decide on the health issues that need improving
  • Protecting the public from threats from infectious diseases and environmental hazards, such as flu and MRSA
  • Providing advice, information and expertise on public healthcare services to NHS commissioners (managers who buy these services)

County Council Health and Wellbeing Boards

Health and Wellbeing Boardbring together local organisations including councils, CCGs, voluntary groups and charities to help improve the health of people .

Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Board

Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board

Joint Strategic Needs Assessments describes our current and future health and wellbeing needs.

Norfolk Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 

Suffolk Joint Strategic Needs Assessment

Norfolk Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Suffolk Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Patient advocate bodies


Both Norfolk and Suffolk have local HealthWatch groups to give local people their say on local services:

Healthwatch Norfolk 

Healthwatch Suffolk

How the NHS is funded

For information on how the NHS is funded please see the links below:

King's Fund Website

King's Fund Video


The CCGs latest news and events

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NHS Norfolk & Waveney CCG

RT @CathByford: Wonderful to see & be part of #IND2021 celebrations today. Proud to be a #nurse within Norfolk & Waveney. & to work alongsi…

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RT @PHE_uk: #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek is a great time to discover ways to look after our mental health and wellbeing. There are lots of…

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RT @JamesPagetNHS: Today is #InternationalNursesDay2021 and, to celebrate the contribution our nurses make, we’re sharing some of their sto…

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RT @mmorgan_anna: My wonderful mum in 1962, my inspiration. My group in 1983, started life as a Pupil Nurse then a State Enrolled Nurse, it…

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RT @NHSEastEngland: Today is #InternationaNursesDay and what better way to launch the day than with a message from our chief nurse @catheri…

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RT @CNOEngland: Amazing to see Twitter full with messages of celebration and support, recognising our incredible #teamCNO #nursing colleagu…

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We’re celebrating some of Norfolk & Waveney’s amazing & inspirational front line workers as part of the…

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We’re celebrating some of Norfolk & Waveney’s amazing & inspirational front line workers as part of the…

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RT @emmawakelin: Join us today for #BringingUsTogetherNW A day for our #Nurses & #Midwives focussing on our #healthandwellbeing Virtual pro…

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NHS Norfolk & Waveney CCG

RT @emmawakelin: Join us today for #BringingUsTogetherNW A day for our #Nurses & #Midwives focussing on our #healthandwellbeing Virtual pro…