Andrew Hirst of the East Anglian Daily Times reports shocking news:
Labour has joined calls demanding more money be made available for mental health services in Suffolk, warning that reported cuts of £200,000 will have “severe consequences” for sufferers in the county.
Sarah Adams, Labour’s health spokeswoman, said the cuts in provision were “disappointing to the extreme” and urged for mental health to be at the forefront of the NHS.
Her comments come after Healthwatch Suffolk reported the withdrawal of £200,000 of funding meant the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) was to curtail its psychiatric liaison services (PLS) in hospitals “without warning or consultation”.
“We are concerned that this change has been implemented with little notice and that it has been expressed to us that patient experience is likely to be affected,” a spokesman said. “We are also wary about the capacity of other NSFT teams to adequately cover the work of the psychiatric liaison team.”
A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said:
The last thing already failed and underfunded mental health services need are more cuts, given that demand is increasing and the number of unexpected deaths has doubled. From their constituency casework, every MP in Norfolk and Suffolk knows how mental health services are underfunded and letting families down; they need to speak out. That said, we shouldn’t be robbing Peter to pay Paul: the NHS needs to be funded properly.When we challenge commissioners about cuts, they claim to be constrained by national funding formulae. When we challenge their costs and pay increases, they claim to provide local accountability and decision making. When we ask for information about how public money is spent locally, they claim commercial confidentiality from an office in London. When they make mistakes in their spreadsheets, it is front line services that are cut. Are the seven CCGs simply a waste of public money which could be better spent on the real NHS?