NHS Suffolk is the primary care trust for the county of Suffolk (excluding Waveney) and cares for a population of 585,000. Formed in 2006 from the amalgamation of four predecessor primary care trusts, NHS Suffolk received £642m in 2007-8 to plan and buy (commission) all the healthcare for the people in its area.
NHS Suffolk is responsible to the Department of Health through the East of England Strategic Health Authority and its actions and performance are monitored by democratically elected members of Suffolk local authorities who sit on the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee.
NHS Suffolk aims to improve health and wellbeing, works with local authorities and other partners to reduce health inequalities and helps to develop sustainable communities.
Each year NHS Suffolk agrees a plan to determine the amount of money that will be spent of each of the services in the NHS Network. The Local Delivery Plan is informed by the views of local people and healthcare professionals from inside and outside the primary care trust.
NHS Suffolk commissions (buys) primary healthcare from: 69 GP practices; 88 pharmacies; 82 dental practices; and 122 optician practices.
Private sector suppliers provide minor injuries services, out of hours GPs and community outpatient services; care homes, rehabilitation and respite centres, continuing care beds; and voluntary sector providers.
NHS Suffolk also commissions services from its provider arm that is now an Arms Length Trading Organisation (ALTO), Suffolk Community Healthcare. Services commissioned from Suffolk Community Healthcare include the management of community hospitals, district nursing, health visiting, school nursing and specialist children's services, community dentistry, podiatry and a range of other specialist services.
NHS Suffolk is responsible for regulating primary care practitioners, holding providers such as GPs, to account through the commissioning and contracting process.
Secondary care and specialist services like surgical operations, acute in-patient care and accident and emergency are commissioned mainly from local hospital trusts and specialist care centres. Mental health services are commissioned from Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust and ambulance services from the East of England Ambulance NHS Trust.
NHS Suffolk works with other key stakeholders to manage civil contingency planning and civil emergencies, provides advice and support with health protection advice and provides recommended immunisation.
NHS Suffolk works in partnership with other local, regional and national organisations in the public, voluntary and community sector, with patients, carers, families and the general public and their representatives and with clinicians to plan, deliver and develop local health services.
Where NHS Suffolk commissions services from external suppliers it uses clear, understandable measures of performance to ensure required standards are met or exceeded.
A key responsibility of NHS Suffolk is to develop strategies to prevent illness and promote wellbeing.
NHS Suffolk is a member of the West Suffolk Local Strategic Partnership (WSLSP) which is committed to making life better for people in West Suffolk. To find out how we are helping, please view the website at www.onesuffolk.co.uk/WSLSP