Wednesday 1 November is Community Health & Care Day: an annual awareness day launched by NCH&C to raise the profile of community-based health and care.
We may not have the visibility of an ambulance siren or a local GP practice, but for those patients who rely on us, we provide a valuable lifeline to health and independence.
Community Health & Care Day 2023 coincides with NHS75: a yearlong celebration marking 75 years of universal healthcare in the UK. Since its inception, community healthcare has been a vital component of the NHS. Delivering care to patients in their home environments and local communities is, and has always been, one of the best ways to keep the population healthy, safe, and living independently.
Although NCH&C was formed 13 years ago (November 2010), community healthcare professionals have been looking after the population of Norfolk for much longer. The NHS was formed in 1949, but community nursing is much older. The first trained district nurses started working in 1859 – 90 years before the foundation of the NHS. Likewise, some of our institutions have histories that extend beyond NCH&C. For example, the Priscilla Bacon Lodge hospice was launched in 1970, so has existed for over half the NHS’s lifetime.
As well as looking back on our roots, there is much to celebrate as we look to the future. As well as the launch of the new PBL facility, upcoming developments like the creation of the new Willow Therapy Unit and the further rollout of Virtual Ward will ensure that Norfolk’s community NHS is serving the county’s population for many more years to come.
Today is also a significant day for NCH&C because it’s the day that our new Interim CEO, Matthew Winn, officially joins us. Matthew serves as joint CEO for both NCH&C and Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust, where he has been CEO for the past 15 years.
Matthew showed his support for his first Community Health & Care Day at NCH&C:
“There really is no better day to be joining NCH&C as your new Chief Executive. Thank you to Stephen Collman for his leadership over the past few years, and we wish him well as he takes the helm at Worcester Hospital in a week’s time.
“I hope that as I lead two great community health organisations for the next year, I can ensure we learn from each other and collaborate wherever possible. My focus will be working with health and care partners in Norfolk and Waveney to agree the strategy for community health and care at home and ensure this is delivered. There are so many challenges facing us all, from the huge rise in children needing SEND support through to the vast numbers of older people who must get exemplary rehabilitation following a change in their health or functional status. These and so many other service areas are the areas we excel in, and we need to continue to push the professional and clinical boundaries even further.”