Sophie Liddament’s friend in Norfolk was eventually admitted to hospital for treatment but she says it took five suicide attempts in one week to get her there.
“The last one left her fighting for her life. I was like I can’t do this anymore. You’re just going to go and I’m going to have to stay here and it’s a terrifying thought when you go to your friend’s house and you don’t know what you’re going to find there.”
Anne Humphrys who lives in Suffolk with her teenage daughter who has a complex mental health issue also describes a lack of support for her and their family, having to turn to A&E at her local hospital, for help due to what she describes as inadequate community-based services.
“She had to sit for several hours in the main accident and emergency area. That’s terrifying for any young person but when a young person is experiencing a mental health crisis what that means is it makes that crisis worse. It heightens their anxiety and Bethan was sitting there saying it was making her want to end her life even more. “
Campaigners claim there continues to be a bed shortage, although the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust says it has reduced the number of patients being sent out of the area for treatment in the last year.
There was more bad news for the Trust at the beginning of the year when it was reported they had the highest number of unexpected deaths in the country. An investigation into those figures will report back in May.
“I think they are trying and there’s pockets of really good work but they haven’t got the funding and the clinical commissioning groups are not coming up with the funding. NHS England are not coming up with the funding so they’re really struggling to provide what we call a safe, comprehensive service.”
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