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BBC News: Mental health in Norfolk and Suffolk ‘£30m underfunded’

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On Saturday the BBC revealed the trust had 50 patients in beds outside the counties, due to a lack of funding and a shortage of beds.

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk has said the trust’s programme to make £40m of cuts by 2018 has had a “devastating impact on people who rely on mental health services”.

Mr Scott told the BBC: “The trust is dramatically underfunded. The money that comes through from the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) is insufficient for the services we provide.

“If we had been funded the same level as our local acute hospitals, we would have £30m more than we do.

He said the NHS budget had grown modestly but had “not found its way into the mental health”.

The NHS bureaucracy blames other parts of the NHS bureaucracy and the crisis in mental health services becomes a meltdown, letting down the voiceless and the vulnerable. Leadership isn’t about going on taxpayer-funded leadership courses: it is about taking responsibility, not passing the buck. Inevitably, what we see is a blame game, although we don’t hear anything at all from the mysterious and unaccountable NHS England and Monitor:

A spokesman for the Norfolk and Suffolk CCGs said: “Mr Scott notes that local CCGs are very supportive, and directs all of his comments towards national funding formulas.

“Mental health is funded on the same basis as elsewhere in England.”

That’s all right then, because mental health services are being slashed nationwide and parity of esteem is meaningless? The highly paid bureaucrats can carry on with their endless meetings, nothing changes and they can tell their friends how worthy they are ‘working for the NHS.’ If the CCGs are so powerless, it is hard to see why we have seven of them in Norfolk & Suffolk.

UPDATE: NORWICH CCG HAS DECIDED TO DELETE THE FOI RESPONSE WHICH DETAILED HOW MUCH THE GOVERNING BODY EARNS FROM NORWICH CCG WEBSITE. DON’T WORRY THOUGH, IN THE INTEREST OF NHS TRANSPARENCY WE KEPT A COPY WHICH YOU CAN CLICK HERE TO READ.

Where’s Norman Lamb, local MP, self-proclaimed mental health champion and Minister of State at the Department of Health with direct responsibility for mental health? Nowhere to be seen. Norman Lamb’s claims mean less than nothing when mental health funding has been slashed by 18% relative to physical health.

Tonight, opportunistic Norman Lamb will be on Channel 4, hoping to replace Lib Dem student votes with votes from the many families which have experienced mental health needs: 1 in 4 must look very attractive when your party is on eight or nine per cent in the opinion polls. We’re not party political but Norman Lamb’s hypocrisy is nauseating even by the standards of politicians. Norman Lamb will appear on Channel 4 tonight because he won’t be challenged about the legitimacy of his claims but he is scared to appear on the BBC in the East of England because our campaign has exposed his duplicity. Instead we get some nameless spokesman:

The Department of Health said: “We have gone further than ever before to put mental health on a par with physical health and have instructed the NHS to make sure every community does the same.”

Norman Lamb is neither a leader nor a champion because he doesn’t take responsibility despite being the minister in charge in the ruling government. Norman Lamb says things are ‘totally unacceptable’ but he is not in opposition.

Click on the image below to read Nic Rigby’s article on the BBC News website:

BBC News Mental health in Norfolk and Suffolk £30m underfunded

 

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