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Press Release: Campaign statement on the delays to the cuts café

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A spokesperson from the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said:

“People in crisis need real services, not being patronised with cups of tea and endless signposting to long waiting lists or non-existent services. There are already drop-in centres, cafés and NHS services but their funding is deeply inadequate and has been continually cut for years by both the NHS and Norfolk County Council.”

“Campaigners, front line staff and the voluntary sector believe the so-called ‘crisis hub’ money would be better spent on improving existing NHS services and increasing the funding of voluntary providers who already offer valuable services and could do more rather than wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on this expensive bureaucratic vanity project. We know that the voluntary sector in Norfolk collectively wrote to Norfolk NHS commissioners to raise their concerns.”

“The cause of this long-running commissioning fiasco is Norfolk NHS commissioners determination to renovate an unsuitable and expensive building they do not own and to put a Norfolk NHS nameplate on it rather than delivering mental health services to people in need.”

“Commissioners laughably aim to complete their plan to refurbish the building before they have a specification for the service to be delivered; to begin refurbishment work before they have even gone out to tender to select a provider.”

“There has been no attempt to offer a crisis hub service or even to ‘identify a preferred model service provider’ while the project has been delayed for over a year. It is worth remembering how much money commissioners wasted on the Timberhill Walk-in Centre only to be turfed out of the building; that mental health wards have been built that never opened.”

“The cuts café proposal is part of a flawed and futile attempt by commissioners to avoid addressing the real issues in mental health services: inadequate funding and poor commissioning of community services, crisis services and inpatient beds.”

“Nothing discriminates against people with mental ill health more than the denial of prompt and professional treatment.”

“Nothing demonstrates the futility of the current avoidant approach of commissioners more than the recent EDP/EADT article which showed that the number of nights spent by NSFT patients in £550 per night private hospitals more than doubled over the last twelve months.”

“Lack of mental health beds is currently costing the NHS more than £500,000 every month and cups of tea in a white elephant cuts café is not going to solve the problem.”

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