Tom Bristow of the Eastern Daily Press reports:
A mental health patient was kept in a police cell for three days in King’s Lynn because no bed could be found for him.
A second person needing mental health treatment was detained at Aylsham police station for 36 hours as the region’s mental health service struggled to find a bed.
The two cases, both from January, raise further concerns about the number of psychiatric beds in Norfolk and Suffolk which have been cut by 136 – around a quarter – since 2012.
Local MP Norman ‘mental health champion’ Lamb became the Minister of State at the Department of Health responsible for mental health in 2012.
Norfolk County councillor Emma Corlett has raised the issue of people needing mental health treatment being kept in police cells with Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green.
She said: “I will be suggesting that the health overview and scrutiny committee at the county council looks at the issue.”
The Director of Operations at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), Debbie White, is again rolled out to defend the indefensible. We’re not going to reprint her lame excuses here.
In December, patients spent 398 nights in mental health beds outside of Norfolk and Suffolk because enough beds could not be found in the area covered by the NSFT.
The Trust is expected to spend nearly £3m more than budgeted this year on treating patients in other beds.
Wait for the delayed, £90,000, pre-determined ‘independent’ bed review which will miraculously find that NSFT doesn’t need any more beds or money. Even though two Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections in a row have determined that NSFT doesn’t have enough beds when declaring mental health services at NSFT unsafe.
The CCG commissioners and NHS England won’t have to wriggle too hard: NSFT Chief Executive, Michael Scott, told 3.5 million viewers of BBC Panorama that NSFT doesn’t need any more money.
Is that the truth or was Michael Scott simply so desperate to hang onto his £175,000 per year job that he was willing to sell people in crisis down the river?
Click on the image below to read the article in full on the EDP website: