Patients are being promised more “joined up” care with the launch of a new system bringing together hospitals, community and mental health trusts, GP practices, councils and other care providers.

Integrated Care Systems, which require all parts of the NHS to work with each other, local councils and other partners, are being rolled out across the country this month. 

The Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership will be one of 42 systems across England and is set to meet in public for the first time on Thursday.

An interim partnership board will be overseeing the work of health and care organisations from this month. 

The partnership has three main aims – to help people to live as healthy a life as possible, to make the area the best place to work in health and care and to make sure patients only have to “tell their story once”, not repeat it to different health and care professionals.

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, independent chairman of the partnership, said: “Before the pandemic, the NHS, local councils and the voluntary sector had been working more closely together to support people’s health and wellbeing. 

“But partnership working has dramatically accelerated in response to the pandemic crisis. As a result, our amazing GPs, community and hospital staff, social workers, volunteers and many others have been able to care for thousands of patients with COVID-19, had regular contact with vulnerable people to support them during the pandemic and delivered over half a million vaccines to people, all while continuing to provide care for a wide range of other conditions.”  

Melanie Craig, chief executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG and executive lead for the partnership added: “Working even more closely together as an Integrated Care System will not only help us to address the impact of the pandemic on local NHS and care services, but it gives us a unique opportunity to support people to improve their health and wellbeing and to tackle the health inequalities that affect too many people.” 

Leaders of local health and care services will be discussing progress with the COVID-19 vaccination programme and the impact of the pandemic on services when partnership meets next week.

Join the meeting, at www.norfolkandwaveneypartnership.org.uk