“Union members at the mental health trust serving care minister Norman Lamb’s north Norfolk constituency could be balloted on taking industrial action in protest at ‘serious safety concerns’ with services.
The Unison branch at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust voted unanimously to start the process of holding a ballot for industrial action after Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) from Norfolk raised serious concerns over care and ‘intolerable working conditions’ at a meeting yesterday.
At the meeting, AMHPs said they faced daily problems conducting Mental Health Act assessments due to a lack of bed availability, a situation highlighted by a Community Care investigation last year. One of the consequences, Unison said, is that patients are being transported hundreds of miles out-of-area. The AMHPs are to write to the trust’s board to suggest a series of actions that should be taken to address the problem.”
“In March, a social worker at the trust wrote to Lamb and local commissioners because AMHPs felt they could “no longer operate on a legal basis”. At the time, Lamb said too many patients were being let down by the system. The lead NHS commissioning group for the area’s mental health service said it “fully acknowledged” the concerns.”
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