We’re finalists in the HSJ Awards

HSJ Patient Safety Awards 2020

Hosted by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), the awards get hundreds of entries every year, aiming to recognise the very best in safety, culture and patient care, with the RAFT team being selected as finalists for the “Improving Care for Older People Award.”

The Rapid Assessment and Frailty Team provides a seven-day assessment service to cover all emergency areas, including Acute Medical Unit (AMU), Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC), Same Day Emergency Services unit (SDEC), Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU) and other clinics including the Frailty and Fracture Clinic.

The team consists of nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paramedic and Assistant Practitioners, who are all working to reduce patient admissions and support patients to be discharged back into the community. The style of assessment used by the team have been designed to improve patient experience for older patients by reducing the number of clinicians involved in their care.

Sara Tansley, Rapid Assessment and Frailty Team Lead at NCH&C, said: “We are immensely proud to have been recognised for our commitment to provide outstanding care to older patients within our community.

“RAFT is a unique team within the Norfolk healthcare system, pulling together healthcare professionals from multiple Trusts so that our patients get the very best care without having to tell their story multiple times, to multiple organisations. RAFT has reduced the need for hospital admissions for many patients too.

A recent CQC inspection rated the service as ‘outstanding’ and current RAFT data suggests that approximately 85% of patients assessed would have been admitted had the RAFT not intervened.

Sara continues: “The growth in service since 2006 has been tremendous and every member of the team both past and present has been integral in the services success, which has led to the recognition that we are delivering a high standard of care to patients today.”

Paul Cracknell, Deputy Chief Executive of NCH&C added: “I would like to express my congratulations to the Rapid Assessment and Frailty Team for being shortlisted as finalists for the HSJ “Improving Care for Older People Award. This is a fantastic achievement and well deserved as a reflection of all their hard work and dedication. To be recognised by the HSJ Awards is a great accolade. I would also like to thank all our health and social care partners across the Norfolk Health and Care Partnership who continue to support and participate in this collaborative initiative which brings such valuable benefits to our patients and their families. Fingers crossed for the award ceremony in November.”

Community nursing during COVID-19

"As hospitals have been transforming in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so too has community nursing.

Like the acute sector, we anticipated a surge in demand and workload, with increasing numbers of patients requiring our help in their own homes and in care homes, many of them near the end of life.”

Click here to Rosie’s full article in Nursing Standard.

We Care Together

We Care Together

The Norfolk and Waveney (N&W) Health and Care Partnership has created the #WeCareTogether campaign to document the remarkable dedication and commitment demonstrated each day by our Health and Social Care colleagues during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign, which is currently available on Instagram @wecaretogethernw but will also be available on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in the coming weeks, captures a wide spectrum of people working in Health and Social Care across a number of organisations including NHS Trusts, residential and care homes, GP practices and from Norfolk County Council.

In addition to the evocative photography, participants have been sharing their powerful and emotional stories focussing on their experience of working during the pandemic, both personally and professionally, as they continue to work to provide vital care to their patients and clients during this extraordinary time.

The breadth of roles and responsibilities within Health and Social care is being recognised within the campaign and showcases the importance of everyone within the Norfolk and Waveney system and how staff have often had to adopt new ways of working during this time.

Anna Morgan, Director of Workforce for Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly resulted in increased pressures on our Health and Care workforce. This is a powerful and moving campaign which brings together people working for the same purpose across Norfolk and Waveney. It’s a perfect example of a unified front and I believe it acts as an appreciative “thank you” in recognising everyone’s efforts during this period.”

“We are so proud that the We Care Together campaign will give a wider audience the chance to get to ‘meet’ some of our amazing people and to understand what working in the NHS and Social Care sectors is like. These stories are of real people, living real experiences and the incredible highs and, sometimes devastating, lows of working in Health and Social Care is something that needs more public attention and understanding.

“Whilst the photography campaign has been developed in response to the pandemic, we have realised that it can evolve to highlight other key moments and important topics for our workforce. It will play a key role in helping us to promote and make a reality the ambition of our 5 year People Plan to recognise Norfolk and Waveney as the best place to work in this sector. We hope that through the use of these powerful images and narratives, people will be encouraged to come and join our amazing and dedicated workforce.”

Read their stories from #WeCareTogether at: https://www.instagram.com/wecaretogethernw/

Click here to watch the BBC Look East news piece about We Care Together 

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

Dear NCH&C colleague,

Like us, we know our staff will have been affected by recent events in America and the UK that have shone a new light on how deep the problem of racial inequality and discrimination continues to be in our society. The aftermath shows us that there is growing anger at the inexcusable injustice of racism.

Whilst we acknowledge the fact that Norfolk is not as ethnically diverse as other areas in the UK, we believe this is irrelevant. Our response to racism and discrimination is clear: we do not tolerate it at NCH&C and we want all our staff to feel safe, protected and listened to. It is crucial that all of us, whoever we are and whatever background we’re from, stand up to and call out any kind of racism and discrimination in our service.

To speak directly to our black staff and our whole BAME network and colleagues; please know that you matter, you are valued and you are part of NCH&C. The contribution that you make to enable our NHS to be the best healthcare organisation in the world cannot be underestimated, never more than now during the COVID-19 crisis.

We want to express support to you and that we know many of you are feeling worried, distressed or frightened. We know that the impact of COVID-19 on BAME groups is an issue that you are concerned about and understand that recent events and subsequent reaction to them has understandably intensified how you are feeling.

So what are we doing?

First and foremost we commit to not being complacent. We recognise that we have much more to do to tackle the underlying causes of structural inequality and to encourage more diversity at the most senior levels of NCH&C.

As a trust we take equality, diversity and inclusion incredibly seriously. But we know more can and needs to be done. Our five Equality and Diversity Objectives are available on our Intranet. These are reviewed every year. We have an established Equality and Diversity Steering Group which meets every two months to steer the organisation to address any emerging issues. Chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive, membership also includes a Non-Executive Director, PALS, HealthWatch, expert service users, staff ambassadors and staff.

We have three Equality and Diversity Ambassadors who act as a point of support and advice to staff and work with the NCH&C to ensure there is equality and fair treatment for staff and patients of all backgrounds.

We want to do more. In support of Black Lives Matter, and in recognition of the importance of not staying silent about uncomfortable and important truths, we will also commit to better amplifying the voices of black members of our staff. We feel that it’s incredibly important to shine a light on their experiences of working at NCH&C and showcase their valuable contribution to the NHS. We also commit to continuing to ensure the voices, thoughts and experiences of BAME staff are reflected better in our communications.

If staff have further thoughts and ideas on how we can collectively continue to improve equality, diversity and inclusion at NCH&C, please contact Alex Watson, HR Business Partner (alex.watson@nchc.nhs.uk / 01603 272554) or Lisa Edwards, Deputy Director of Nursing & Quality (lisa.edwards@nchc.nhs.uk / 01603 272850). Our Equality, Diversity and inclusion page on the Intranet has lots more information too.

Finally, to all staff, please continue to check in with colleagues, friends, patients, clients. Don’t be afraid to offer support to those that need it and, we cannot stress enough the importance of speaking up if you see, hear, think or feel that discrimination is happening.

Best wishes,

Josie Spencer

CEO of NCH&C on behalf of the NCH&C Board

Black Lives Matter open letter

What’s it like being a Trainee Nursing Associate during a pandemic?

What’s it like being a Trainee Nursing Associate during a pandemic?

In this unprecedented time of need, hundreds of trainee nurses are stepping in to help support the NHS and other key healthcare workers during this pandemic. Jorgyella tells us about her nursing journey and how she is managing her new role at the trust under these challenging circumstances.

Why did you want to become a Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA)?
I joined the TNA apprenticeship scheme in September 2018. When I heard about the role, I thought that it sounded like a great opportunity and gateway into nursing, a career I’ve always wanted to pursue!  Caring for people when they’re sometimes at their most vulnerable, is challenging, but more fulfilling than anything else I can think of. My friends and family often ask me whether they think I’ll ever have a change of career, but I couldn’t dream of doing anything else!

What does your role entail and where are you based?
I work for one of the four community nursing teams in Norwich, our team is called City 1. When I first applied for the apprenticeship, I didn’t realise that community nursing even existed, or what it involved. Having been on a few placements in the acute setting, I feel very lucky to have been assigned to City 1 for my main place of work, as through the past eighteen months, I have come to realise that this is the area and direction I want my career to take. My role involves administering insulin daily to our diabetic patients, wound management, catheter care, administering anticoagulant medication and a few other things! However, I would say that wound care makes up the largest proportion of what I do. Post-surgical wounds, pressure ulcers, moisture lesions, general skin tears, but mostly, venous and arterial leg ulcers. Leg ulcer treatment involves extensive wound care, and knowledge of different dressings and their purpose, as well as bandaging and educating the patient so that they can be in control of their own care and treatment.

Is it strange having to wear PPE? (How long did it take you to get used to wearing it?)
Wearing PPE was a little strange at first, however it is something that I have quickly got used to. Although, regular changes in government guidelines, means that the type of PPE we wear, and when to do so, is frequently changing. For example, when to apply PPE, whether to wear a face shield as well as the mask and also which patients we have to wear this for. However, our manager keeps us well informed and up to date, regularly letting us know whether there has been any significant changes and we also have our COVID intranet page with lots of information on should we need it. I have found that wearing a mask makes communicating with our patients slightly more difficult, as many of them have hearing impairment to some degree, and rely on lip reading, and are unable to do this when we have our masks on.

What have you been doing during the pandemic?
During the pandemic I’ve been working a little more than usual, picking up extra shifts with the bank team where I can, as I knew that many of our teams maybe struggling with staffing issues more than usual.  When I’m not at work though I’m usually looking after my little brother, Fynn. He’s four and has lots of energy, so I’m lucky to live where I do, just outside of Holt, as there is lots of fields, tracks and streams nearby to my house, where I can take him and our dog, Truffle, to fly his kite and play poohsticks! Also, every Thursday evening, after the weekly clap at 8 o’clock, myself, my older brother Lyam, Mum and stepdad, partake in “Jay’s Virtual Pub Quiz”, and we also have a family group chat with my aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents so that we can compare our scores! I look forward to it every week. My stepdad has also created a ping pong table from some scrap wood, a great addition to our family home, and so we have all now become fairly good at table tennis too!

Anything different or any positive experiences you can share?
Although the current situation is very scary and somewhat daunting, I have been humbled by the acts of kindness I have been seeing throughout the country. Not just towards the NHS, to which there have been many, donations of hand creams, coffee machines, discounts, food deliveries etc etc. But also in other ways; people offering to do shopping, gardening, delivering of prescription medications, and so much more in order to protect the vulnerable people of our society, and those who simply are unable to do it all themselves. The country is coming together more than ever, and it’s really lovely to see. My mum and I are also part of the ‘Norfolk Scrub Team’, which involves dropping off scrub material to the amazing sewing volunteers across Norfolk, and then delivering the handmade scrubs to nurses and doctors in other areas. When I’m not at work I try and help by collecting the material needed from the local ‘Scrub Hub’!

Do you feel supported?
I do, yes. However, the Trainee Nursing Associate apprenticeship is a new role, and I am a member of the first cohort in Norfolk to do it. With a new role, comes many challenges, the NMC and the UEA are frequently changing the requirements and demands that need to be met in order to qualify as a Nursing Associate. The pandemic has added a great deal of stress to this, as it is now becoming difficult to meet the requirements set. However, everybody is in this together, and I have a great Clinical Education Team (CET) on hand if I need support with anything. My line manager is also very supportive and my colleagues are always at the end of the phone should I need them. As well as this, a few groups have been formed on social media, so I have frequent contact and support from other TNAs, nurses, health care assistants and healthcare workers, which is comforting at a time like this.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?
There have been a few challenges I have faced during my role as a TNA! Firstly, I live in Holt, and so before I became a TNA I rarely drove to Norwich. The prospect of having to drive in unknown territory around the city daily during rush hour traffic was daunting for me, but I quickly adapted! Also, unlike many of my TNA colleagues, I had no previous experience in healthcare, apart from the odd work experience day here and there! I received my A-level results in the August, and became a TNA in the September, so being allocated to the community where I realised I would be lone working was nerving for me. My colleagues on the wards have a team of HCAs , nurses and doctors around them should they have a problem or query. Although there is always someone at the end of the phone should I need them, lone working has allowed to me to enhance my organisational skills, having to plan patient care for myself, the dressings they’ll need, whether they need to be referred to another service , such as the occupational nursing team etc, which in turn has allowed me to learn very quickly! Additionally, as part of the TNA course, we are expected to attend university once a week. However, we are unable to do this at the minute, and we are receiving our education via video calls from our lecturers, this has probably been one of the greatest challenges, to me, during this lockdown period.

What are your future plans?
The TNA course will give be a foundation degree once I qualify, as well as becoming the Band 4 Nursing Associate and being on the register. However, I would like to go on further to complete the two year top up course,  and become a band five registered nurse. As for the area, I definitely want to stay within the community! Being able to be somewhat in charge of which patients I see and when is very fulfilling, and there is so many opportunities that come with this. Further along in my career I was thinking about becoming a Tissue Viability Nurse, however I have a little way to go until I reach this point!

Click here to find out more about NCH&C’s apprenticeships.

Join us as a Community Nurse

Community nursing roles

Are you a registered Nurse who has a passion for treating patients in the community?

We have a number of opportunities for Band 5 and Band 6 nurses to join our CQC rated Outstanding NHS trust.

Working for a NHS community trust is very different to working in an acute setting, but it is just as rewarding:

  • You will play a key role in delivering more personalised care, closer to home. This element of the NHS is one of the most popular with patients and is vital in supporting patients’ recovery from illness and leading efforts on preventative and wellness services.
  • Community health and care is the foundation of NHS services. 90% of contacts between health professionals and patients occur in the community or in patient’s homes.
  • Working in the community will provide you with the opportunity to develop a longer-term and more personal relationship with patients and carers, and other professionals.

Click here to see all our vacancies and apply now!


Join our community

We're recruiting Outstanding staff

Help us help the community to recover from coronavirus. We need Outstanding staff in various locations across Norfolk. To find out more and apply: click here

Celebrating our nurses

A Day In The Life

What’s it like to be an IPAC Nurse?

Lenny Neale-Krommenhoek is an Infection Prevention & Control (IPAC) Nurse in our IPAC team, responsible for the on-going improvement in the quality of the patient’s experience. More recently, Lenny and the team have been instrumental in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here she tells us what it’s like to be an IPAC Nurse at NCH&C.

I have worked in nursing for almost 40 years and have been an IPAC Nurse for past four years. The IPAC team at NCH&C is made up of a small team of specialist nurses, trained to give advice and support regarding infection prevention and control; our vision is that no person is harmed by a preventable infection.

Day to day

The role is varied, and no two days are ever the same. Unlike many specialist roles in the community, IPAC Nurses are somewhat unique and for the most part do not deliver “hands-on” patient care. We face different challenges due to the geographical diversity and location of our healthcare settings and IPAC work is frequently unpredictable and requires flexibility and rapid response. For instance, during outbreaks, our team is involved in assessing the situation to give the best advice to staff as quickly as possible. This advice could be different for community staff and ward-based staff, so we need to be certain the information is accurate and provides the correct protection to staff and patients. Winter is particularly demanding due to an increase in respiratory illnesses such as flu and norovirus.

Whilst outbreaks might be the first thing people think of when they hear of infection control, we also provide on the ground advice to other teams across the trust. For example, we work closely with the Estates and Facilites team to provide guidance on any building/renovation work and on water safety. Training is also an essential part of my job, ensuring all staff are aware of the required hygiene and Infection Prevention & Control standards.

During the COVID pandemic

As with many teams across the trust, the IPAC team had to mobilise quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were involved from the start, screening the public from as early as February. The process for screening was developed and implemented by our team within five hours and continued throughout February, March and April, expanding with government requirements.

At the end of April, our response changed again, and we launched the care home resident screening programme. This programme involves screening symptomatic residents in the care homes, whilst also supporting and signposting symptomatic staff to the screening service at the local acute hospital.

The team and I continue to support all NCH&C services, currently providing an on-call service out of hours to ensure staff can always access advice.

Final thoughts

The role of an IPAC Nurse can be challenging at times, but I am fortunate to able to work closely with my colleagues to improve and support patient care. Whilst we are currently navigating strange times, and the severity and impact of what we are facing is largely unknown, knowing that the work I have been doing to ensure my colleagues on the frontline are educated and appropriately protected makes me proud to be an IPAC Nurse.


CEO says Thank You to NCH&C nurses

An open letter to all our nurses from Josie Spencer on International Nurses Day 2020


Josie Spencer, CEO, NCH&C

“In only a few short weeks the world has become a very different place for all of us, both personally and professionally. The World Health Organization named 2020 as the Year of the Nurse, at that time not knowing that nurses would be on the frontline of a world pandemic. 2020 was chosen as the Year of the Nurse as this is the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Today, just like Florence Nightingale, nurses have risen to these, our most challenging times, with courage, dedication and bravery.

As the front line of a world health crisis, nursing professionals need our support now more than ever. Their skill, sacrifice, commitment and unwavering bravery during the coronavirus pandemic make a lifesaving difference every day. So today, on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all our nurses for the wonderful and vital job you are doing in these very difficult times. Compassion and expertise are demonstrated by NCHC nurses every day, whether you work in one of our community hospitals, outpatients or patients’ homes. Healthcare is ever changing and nurses never stop learning, handling these changing times with grace and dignity.

Thank you for your courage, compassion and dedication to our patients. I can honestly say more than ever I am proud to be part of the nursing profession. Sadly, today we cannot have the events we had envisaged, but what we can do is take some time to reflect. I am so proud of you all. Please don’t be quite as humble as you usually are and think about what a fantastic job you are all doing. I am sure that the people of Norfolk and Suffolk are very thankful that you are all here doing such a fantastic job.”

Happy International Nurses Day 2020


The work and plight of nurses has been well documented during the pandemic. Many of us have had a very real connection with nurses recently and to show our gratitude and support for them NCH&C is joining in the rest of the world to celebrate International Nurses Day.  This International Nurses Day, 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale, we want to thank each and every one of our brilliant NCH&C nurses for their incredible dedication.

If you’re interested in finding out more about community nurses, the vital role they play in the NHS and the breadth of work they do in our communities, follow us throughout today on our social media channels. We’ll be posting stories about our teams and their work and saying a collective thank you for their commitment to their patients today and every day.

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#ThankYouNurses #InternationalNursesDay #WeAreTheNHS