This is a quick start introduction to various services provided across the county by the council, the NHS and GP surgeries.
Norfolk County Council
Norfolk County Council (NCC) Adult Social Services is a good place to start regarding elderly care. Only through them can you sort out the all important care and finance assessments to determine the level and type of support/care needed, from home adaptations to residential nursing care. The assessments will also establish how much they will (or won’t) fund. Even if care is paid for by your parents it is worth having an assessment done, to find out any funding eligibility, and also in case care needs change. See our care section for more information on funding. Contact details here.
Norfolk Care Guide
There is a comprehensive guide to care and to all of the local services, called Your Guide to Care and Support for Adults. It’s quite a big read! As well as information about services and who to talk to, the Guide includes several useful checklists. It is a great starting point and should answer many of your questions including: staying safe and well at home; arranging care; leaving hospital; care home options and funding care. You can ask to be sent a free copy by calling NCC on 0344 800 8020.
Guide to Care Homes
Age UK Norfolk provides a weekly updated list of care home vacancies in the county which you can access here. You can search on the Care Quality Commission website for care homes and their ratings here.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) – there are 5 CCGs covering Norfolk responsible for planning and buying local NHS services. GP practices are members of CCGs – their websites all have lots of information and signposting to local services such as hospital, community, mental health and urgent/emergency health care. They are also responsible for ensuring patient care is safe and ‘high quality’. They are “clinically-led” which means local doctors and nurses in GP surgeries set the local health strategy.
Age UK Norfolk is currently piloting advice services GP surgeries in South Norfolk, more information including surgery times and locations is available here.
There is a Walk-in Centre at the GP surgery in Rouen Rd, Norwich which is open 8am to 8pm 7 days a week and where you can go without an appointment. There are GPs and nurses on duty there. It is just opposite the EDP building at the top of Rouen Rd http://www.norwichwalkincentre.co.uk/. Of course if you need urgent advice out of hours you can always call the NHS on 111 (and in an emergency you still dial 999).
Support for Carers
If you’re new to caring, you might find Norfolk Carers Support useful.
There are many local services offered by the NHS, and whilst there may be a waiting list and endless paperwork, they should be available when required.
District Nurse – District or community nurses provide nursing care in your own home, either on-going or short term after discharge from hospital. A district nurse may provide wound care, support catheter care, and administer complex medication. They work with the local GP practice and with all the other community health and social care professionals.
Occupational Therapy – supports people whose health prevents them from doing daily activities such as such as dressing or getting to the shops. The OT will help work out practical solutions including recommending equipment to help with tasks or general mobility. A GP, nurse or social worker will usually make the referral to an occupational therapist if required. We have listings of OTs in our local services section.
Physiotherapy – helps restore movement and function to the body and as with occupational therapists, the GP or hospital will usually make the referral, but go to our Local services section if you want to go independently.
Continence Clinic – this is a difficult subject to be discussed, even with the GP. There are a number of continence clinics in Norfolk . Direct appointments can be made, and you can find out more information about them here .
Falls Clinic – If your parent has had several falls and the GP thinks they may be at high risk of falling again they may be referred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital falls clinic. The clinic may well refer your parent to occupational therapy to get an assessment of their home and to suggest any equipment which could help them.
If it is not you being treated but you want to be able to contact the GP and vice versa about a patient, you will need to have this authorised in writing by both the patient and the GP. It’s really helpful to have this in place in case of an emergency situation.
GPs still make home visits, or can advise you through a telephone consultation. Making an appointment to see a GP can feel like an impossible task with all the restrictions on when to call, how far ahead they make appointments etc – so worth asking the practice manager for their best advice on this.
Norfolk GP surgeries
For a complete list of GP surgeries in Norwich and Norfolk go to NHS Choices – or through the CCG sites above.
If there are other services you know about, or some you would like more information on, join our forum today and let us know.