We have been contacted by a number of people who have concerns about the level of support available from drug and alcohol services, run by Norfolk Recovery Partnership (NRP) since April 2013. These are the views of “Matt & Tina”, two users of the services provided by NRP:
“We are currently being asked to give feedback about the service we are receiving. Sadly the overwhelming attitude from other service users we spoke to was one of resignation – that whatever services we receive are what we deserve. It’s bad enough to believe that we are locked into a system that has no real answers to our substance / alcohol / mental health problems, but when that service then begins unravel around you, you realise what a mess you’re in… especially when you’ve just begun to take positive steps back towards mainstream society. People are really quite fearful.
Christmas was very difficult for a lot of people. We tried desperately to get help for one particular individual, but phone calls weren’t answered and no one was available. Their key worker has recently departed for pastures new, and what with the Christmas Holidays, they seemed to be just left with no one. People do seem to be falling through the net and becoming really isolated.
Personally, from the interactions we’ve had with those directly providing services, staff are demoralized. Many of those we know quite well have left – and those that remain having been ‘transferred’ to work under the NRP umbrella are shocked at how chaotic it is and are less than happy. It could just be that they’ve all come from different services and it takes time to adjust to change. We think part of the problem is the different model of operation – and clients being transferred to new services and the enforced change of key workers that has caused some of the problems. Those providing the care are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances. But service cuts are most certainly a cause of many of the issues, not only in the Norfolk Recovery Partnership but also in the other mental health services provided by Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) that users of drug and alcohol services access frequently. A drop in the level of support available from community mental health teams has been noticed.”