Michael Scott has announced a further £36 million of cuts/savings at Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) on top of the £44 million cuts/savings of the radical redesign which directly led to NSFT’s inadequate rating by the CQC and Special Measures. That’s a total of £80 million of cuts/savings over eight years but, as these cuts/savings are cumulative, it means around £300 million won’t be spent on mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk over the period. At the same time, millions of pounds has been diverted from mental to physical health whatever is bleated about ‘parity of esteem.’ NSFT’s annual budget is around £200 million.
Mental health is a people business and 80% of the cost of running NSFT is employing people. We’ve already seen the devastating impact of the radical redesign at NSFT. Who and what is going to be cut/saved next?
It is worth re-reading what Tracey Lambert of Unison wrote about the lack of accountability of the NHS bureaucracy. Lambert was writing about Jonathon Fagge and Norwich CCG but her analysis is equally applicable to the spreadsheet junkies at the Magnificent Seven CCGs, NHS England, Monitor and the Department of Health. As each group of bureaucrats claims it isn’t culpable for the catastrophe in mental health services, the crisis deepens; all get paid handsomely but nobody takes responsibility. The architect of the radical redesign even got promoted.
The NHS bureaucracy likes to pretend that there is no alternative to the cuts/savings. There is an alternative: funding mental health services adequately.
Click on the image below to read Nic Rigby’s story on the BBC News website: