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A funeral every ten days: Campaign statement on the increase in deaths in the community

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“Ours is a moral campaign, founded in November 2013 by mental health staff deeply concerned about cuts and service closures at NSFT and what they believed was a cluster of preventable deaths caused by the so-called ‘radical redesign’ process. Those brave staff have been joined by more than two thousand users of mental health services, the bereaved, carers, mental health staff and concerned members of the public.

When clinicians first raised concerns, they were dismissed as ‘shroud wavers.’ NSFT hid behind statistical uncertainties and national averages and dismissed our warnings; the Alexander Report was buried.

Now, unreleased NSFT data demonstrates the consequences of the radical redesign at NSFT: a dramatic rise of 70% in deaths among the users of mental health services in the community which cannot be explained by natural causes or drug and alcohol misuse.

Families across Norfolk and Suffolk are now paying the scandalous price of the cuts and chaos with an additional and unnecessary funeral every ten days. The people of Norfolk and Suffolk deserve and expect better. We demand a public inquiry into what has gone wrong at NSFT and proper funding to restore decent services. We have witnessed a mental health Mid Staffs. We need to know why it has been allowed to continue to get worse for so long.”

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4 thoughts on “A funeral every ten days: Campaign statement on the increase in deaths in the community

  1. Terry skyrme says:

    Time and time again we have raised this issue with Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust and with Clinical Commissioning Groups only for these deaths to be dismissed as not statistically significant; this is a crisis which needs a crisis plan. We know that the Trust has been carrying a large number of unallocated cases and have little idea as to how many seriously ill people at risk are among those unallocated cases. The Trust has still not restored the Link workers who provided an early warning system to identify those people most at risk. Access to prompt help is a real problem in such a huge area as Norfolk and Suffolk with its poor transport systems. The Trust has now made this worse by stopping transport for outpatient treatment. The Trust is currently offering group therapy for depression and anxiety to many of their patients; the therapy is based at Hellesdon Hospital and many patients in outlying areas have no idea how they will get to their treatment. Long gone are the days when you could see a psychiatrist or community mental health nurse in Holt or North Walsham. Patients are missing appointments because they cannot get to Hellesdon from outlying areas. The Trust’s Prevention of Suicide Strategy is in ruins. Does anyone know what recommendations are emerging from the recently formed Multi-agency Prevention of Suicide Group?

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  2. allwillbewell says:

    If thesr figures exclude service users from TADS/Recovery Service how many would it be if these were included.

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  3. Steve says:

    This is exactly what we were talking about when my brother died. If the standard of care has slipped so badly that it’s acceptable to house someone in filth and squalor then many more people will die. There must be a public enquiry. There must be an intervention to provide care for vulnerable people. We can’t tolerate mental health issues becoming a terminal disease and the decimation of our communities. This must be addressed before other Trusts start to make similar cuts in the belief that they can get away with it too. How is nobody in Government taking this on?

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  4. Terry skyrme says:

    Yes, when our campaign started and there had been 20 deaths in a five month period the Trust spokesperson in the EDP attempted to excuse themselves by suggesting that many of the tragedies were due to drug and alcohol use.

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