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Government Minister visits Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT)’s new perinatal mental health service

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Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has a new perinatal service with £2.5m funding, two highly-paid consultants, a manager and other staff.

NSFT’s Board and Comms team think it is brilliant, saying:

The new Community Perinatal Mental Health Service for Norfolk and Waveney started seeing a small number of service users in April following the successful recruitment of two consultant psychiatrists, clinical team leader and new nursing staff.

The remaining staff members are expected to be in post by September, taking the total number to 14 whole time equivalents, when the service will officially launch and will include psychologists, an assistant psychologist, occupational therapist, social worker, nursery nurses and administrators.

Only NSFT could issue a press release in Infant Mental Health Awareness Week about a service patients won’t be able to access until September even though expensive staff have been employed since April.

What was NHS England thinking giving £2.5m funding for perinatal services to one of the ‘leaders’ of the ‘radical redesign’?

What’s brilliant about two consultant psychiatrists, clinical team leader and new nursing staff taken away from productive work for an extended Easter/Whitsun/Summer holiday?

Other areas have established their perinatal services much more quickly with a much greater sense of urgency.

Are women in Norfolk expected to delay conception in anticipation of the eventual opening of this new service?

Or should they went until whichever decade NSFT manages to open some inpatient beds as well? NSFT has a track record of closing rather than opening beds.

Meanwhile, NHS England refuses to fund five of the twelve brand new beds for young people in Norfolk despite young people from Norfolk being sent all over the country because there are not enough beds.

It could almost be an episode of Yes, Minister.

Click on the image below to read the press release for yourself:

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