BBC News: More than 800 Norfolk mental health patients ‘unallocated’

Nic Rigby of the BBC reports:

More than 800 vulnerable mental health patients in Norfolk have not been assigned care workers due to staffing shortages, a report has revealed.

The 839 unallocated cases at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust include 139 youth team cases.

Unison said services at the trust had been “savagely cut”.

A trust report, to be discussed at a board meeting on Thursday, said there were no equivalent figures for Suffolk figures but states “it is known” they were “much lower than in Norfolk”.

The report identified 683 cases unallocated in December 2014.

Scarlett Mellors, of Norfolk, had a breakdown after having family problems and was diagnosed with severe depression.

She battled for 18 months to get a new care co-ordinator after her old one went on long-term sick leave.

Ms Mellors said it was “extremely isolating” as she did not know who she was supposed to go to.

After complaining, she finally got a new care co-ordinator and said: “It transformed my life”.

That care co-ordinator is now helping her to claim benefits and sort out her finances.

Rebecca Edmunds, 25, of Beccles, Suffolk, was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at the age of seven and also suffers from anorexia.

Ms Edmunds said: “My care co-ordinator has been invaluable.” She now has the confidence to do work for BEAT (an eating disorder charity).

Emma Corlett, of Unison, said: “When I saw the number who had not been allocated a mental health worker I was really shocked.

“This has happened because services have been savagely cut. There are not enough enough staff to meet the needs of the service.”

A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “A named care co-ordinator is a key element in providing a safe, proactive service and continuity of care. It is astonishing that this crisis has been allowed to develop.”

The number of unallocated cases continues to grow. When we first warned about this problem, more than one year ago, we were called ‘liars.’ How does NSFT know what is happening in Suffolk without the data?

Click on the image below to read the full story on the BBC News website:

BBC News More than 800 Norfolk mental health patients 'unallocated'

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