Norfolk and Waveney’s three acute hospitals – James Paget University Hospital, the Norfolk University Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn – are working more closely together to improve care for patients.

Together we hope to provide a wide range of services to a population of more than one million people. We’re committed to making improvements and working together to benefit patient care.

But as everyone knows, the NHS is under great pressure and the challenges we face mean we must now make changes to how we work. The challenges include: a backlog of people needing hospital care which has grown due to the impact of the pandemic, recruiting and retaining the skilled staff we need especially in some specialist areas, and we know that people’s ability to access hospital services can vary depending on where they live. We can’t stand still, the needs of the people of Norfolk and Waveney are too great.

As we have already demonstrated, especially during the pandemic, in many instances, we can achieve more, and achieve it more quickly, by working together, rather than separately as individual organisations.  We have collaborated on many projects and services over the last few years and are committed to working even more closely together to improve further patient care and staff experience.

Our very rural geography and long distances apart mean that whatever changes take place, our three acute hospitals are here to stay. Each is firmly rooted in their local communities and we will continue to need all three hospitals to carry on providing vital services, including Emergency and Maternity services.

Each individual hospital will continue to have their own clear identity, with strong local leadership, operational management and responsibility for working closely with their partners, staff and patients to deliver quality NHS services that respond to the needs of their communities. The three Trusts remain distinct with each Trust’s Board of Directors continuing to be accountable to their local population and the role of Governors will remain crucial.

In November 2020, we announced the formation of a Committees in Common forum between the three hospitals after launching joint services together and there are ongoing discussions on how we can work closer, share what we do best, and recruit and retain talented staff.

Working closer together will also continue to help manage patient access to services across hospitals in Norfolk and Waveney, and effectively manage our collective resources.

Our three acute hospitals have been collaborating for several years to improve services for patients, and during Covid-19 we worked more closely together. We are now working together on other projects such as a joint clinical strategy, aligning policies and guidelines and the Electronic Patient Record, which is expected to transform services in the longer term, making paper a thing of the past, improving efficiency and experience for patients and staff and providing more information for primary care professionals, universally saving time.

All partners within the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) are committed to working even closer together to address health inequalities and to run efficient and effective services for our patients.

Use the tiles below to find out more about the work we’re doing across the region.