Tomorrow evening, on Tuesday 7th June 2016, we will be protesting at the failure to invite service users, carers and professionals to an event the purpose of which is said to be finding ‘affordable, innovative new solutions’ to mental health. We will be assembling outside St Michael at Plea in Norwich from 5.45 p.m. A location map is below.
Despite endless cuts to mental health budgets, the RSA claims ‘Throwing money we don’t have at a problem that just won’t go away is not the answer.’ We absolutely disagree. Mental health services have been subject to vicious and highly discriminatory cuts in comparison to physical health. If mental health had received the same levels of funding increases as Norfolk’s largest physical health trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) would have an annual budget a staggering £70m higher than it receives today. Mental health has suffered cuts of 20% relative to physical health. As services have been cut, unexpected deaths have risen. This isn’t a problem that ‘just won’t go away’. It is a problem that has been created by cuts and discrimination.
We asked for representation on the panel but were refused.
The panel does include representatives from:
- Healthwatch, which, despite claiming to be the ‘consumer champion in health and care’, plush offices and an annual budget of £600,000 per year, failed to speak out about the collapse of community services, the transportation of hundreds of people in crisis across the country and dramatic rises in unexpected deaths. Instead, it commented on the font used in the NSFT annual report;
- Norwich & Central Norfolk Mind, which backed the disastrous radical redesign cuts, supposedly on behalf of all the voluntary organisations in Norfolk, and took the opportunity to pitch its ‘services’. It has conspicuously failed to speak out about the appalling cuts to mental health services; and
- NSFT’s Board, which wasted millions of pounds and destroyed mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Join us tomorrow to challenge the cuts and the lack of genuine representation: