Norfolk's health system explained

Changes were made to the health and care system across England in April 2013 as part of the Health and Social Care Act. This system, explained here, was aimed at giving local communities and patients more say in the care they receive.

Diagram showing local hierarchy of NHS

NHS England

NHS England have four regional teams with NHS Midlands and East of England being the regional team for Norfolk.

The regional teams work closely with organisations such as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local authorities, health and wellbeing boards as well as GP practices.

NHS England oversees the operation of the CCGs, allocates resources to CCGs and buys primary care and specialist services, such as, GPs, Dentists, prison health, inpatient child adolescent mental health services.

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.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)

CCGs replaced the Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in April 2013. Norfolk has five CCGs, which are made up of doctors, nurses and other professionals. These groups are responsible for planning and buying healthcare services for their local area such as: hospital care, Community Health Care services, NHS Trust and NHS foundation trusts for people living in Norfolk and Waveney area. They can buy services from any service provider that meets NHS Standards and cost and must gain assurance of the quality of the services being provided.

Norfolk CCGs:

To Support the CCGs in some practical aspects of their duties and responsibilities to buy healthcare services such as contract negotiation, analysing information some CCGs in Norfolk have used the expertise of North East London (NEL) Commissioning Support Unit.

Main commissioned health service providers for Norfolk and Waveney

Acute Hospital Providers:

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

Community Health, Mental health and Learning Disabilities Health Providers:

Universal Health Child Programme (Commissioned by Public health)

 Emergency and out of hours

Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council is responsible for protecting and improving public health.
Our role is to help people lead healthy lifestyles and stay safe from threats to their health. Our public health team work on:

  • Health improvement – raising awareness of healthy lifestyles and buying relevant services, such as stop smoking and weight management services
  • Information and intelligence – to provide 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
  • Health protection – to protect the public from threats from infectious diseases and environmental hazards, such as flu and MRSA
  • Health care – to provide advice, information and expertise on public healthcare services to NHS commissioners (managers who buy these services)

Read the public health strategy

Healthwatch Norfolk

Health watchdog Healthwatch Norfolk has been set up to give local people their say on local services.

Health and Wellbeing Board

The Health and Wellbeing Board brings together local organisations including councils, CCGs, voluntary groups and charities to help improve the health of people in Norfolk via its Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

Diagram showing organisations in the Health and Wellbeing Board

  • The board, in partnership with Norfolk County Council, is responsible for producing the county’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), which describes our current and future health and wellbeing needs.

England’s new healthcare system explained

For a visual explanation of the healthcare system in England visit King’s Fund.