But Terry Skyrme, who works as a social worker for the NHS trust and member of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, said that when he left work last Wednesday there were 21 patients in out of area beds, with the vast majority in private hospitals across the country.
He added that there were seven patients from Norfolk in Suffolk beds.
In a letter to North Norfolk CCG, the lead commissioner for mental health services in Norfolk, he said: “The demand for beds, both for voluntary and detained patients, is unrelenting. This is a real crisis. Not only is there a shortage of acute psychiatric beds, but the demand for beds is increasing because of the lack of community care.”
Campaigners have called on NSFT to reopen two mothballed wards at Carlton Court, near Lowestoft, a ward at Hellesdon Hospital and older people’s beds in west Norfolk as well as restoring a link worker service at GP surgeries and reestablish a specialist outreach team.
During 2013/14, 113 patients were sent to out of area inpatient beds outside of Norfolk and Suffolk at a cost of £1.5m.
It is even worse now. 30 patients out of area and another 10 Norfolk patients shipped to Suffolk. This is a meltdown.
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