Adam Gretton of the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) reports:
The government’s health minister pledged to “do what it takes” to address the pressure on mental health beds after being told of some Norfolk and Suffolk patients having to travel more than 200 miles for a bed.
When told about the situation at NSFT, Mr Hunt yesterday said: “I don’t find it acceptable. We have a particular problem with people with acute mental health needs being sent to far away, but we are looking into this and we are very keen to address what the underlying issue, but it is an unacceptable situation.”
When pressed on when the crisis might be addressed, Mr Hunt added: “We are coming up with a solution. I don’t promise we are going to solve the entire problem immediately, but we are working with NHS England. I had a discussion with NHS England about it this week and we are certainly going to do what it takes. I recognise the urgency of the situation.”
Emma Corlett of UNISON has responded to the EDP report, saying:
“Now this crisis situation has finally been acknowledged by the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt needs to act immediately to ensure that people who need mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk and mental health staff don’t continue to suffer. We ask him what resources is he going to provide in the form of an urgent rescue package for NSFT? We need action not more fine words.”
Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) used to dismiss the situation as a ‘so-called crisis.’ Now even Jeremy Hunt and Norman Lamb agree that there is an urgent crisis. When are those responsible for the disastrous radical redesign and redundancy programmes going to be sacked by the NSFT Board? Perhaps NSFT Chair, Gary Page, ought to consider coming back from watching the football in Brazil and focus on sorting out the catastrophe in mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk over which he and his Board has presided?
Read the rest of Adam Gretton’s excellent reporting by clicking on the image below: