Matthew Gudgin of the BBC interviews a spokesperson for our campaign and the interim Chief Executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), Julie Cave, about the closure of yet another 36 mental health beds in Norfolk and Suffolk.
We are asked whether we have any confidence in the newly-appointed Chief Executive of NSFT, Antek Lejk.
To which the answer is simply “No.”
For much many more years can the crisis be allowed to deepen?
More than four years ago, we were promised by NSFT that no beds would be closed until they were no longer needed.
Instead the crisis in mental health services has become much worse.
Twice the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have found that NSFT does not have enough beds to deliver a safe service. Twice the commissioners, including the newly-imposed Chief Executive and current STP Chief Officer, Antek Lejk, have ignored the CQC, even with the trust in Special Measures – twice. At the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee hearing at Norfolk County Council, commissioners claimed not to even know how many mental health beds Norfolk needs – even though there are currently 33 more patients than there are beds. Four years after they promised to fix the problem.
Meanwhile, Suffolk is left without any psychiatric intensive care beds.
Since 2013-14, when the CCGs were established, NSFT’s share of the Norfolk NHS budget has declined by 8.3 per cent.
Referrals have increased by 48 per cent over the same period.
Since NSFT was founded, the number of unexpected deaths has increased by 66 per cent.
What is the Improvement Director, Philippa Slinger, from NHS Improvement doing? Matters aren’t improving: they are becoming worse.
Enough is enough.
Click on the play arrow below to listen to the interviews.