BBC: Norfolk and Suffolk mental health patients sent away for treatment

Terry Skyrme, from the trust’s crisis team, said cutting staff and closing beds could put patients at risk.

He said the trust had nearly 300 unallocated cases and keeping up with demand with fewer staff creates pressures.

Mr Skyrme said: “Norwich patients are being sent for treatment to King’s Lynn or Great Yarmouth.

“Others are being sent as far away as Bradford, Dorking and Weston super Mare. This increases stress and risk for the patients as they are away from their families and support services.

“We cannot be sure they are getting the right treatment.

“Also, patients using a new centralised call centre often have to say the same thing to several people to get access to treatment.

“In the past a GP knew about the patient’s condition and access to service was easier.”

The local clinical commissioning group said it was trying to restore the link with GPs and aimed to allocate more resources, but this meant other parts of the NHS in the county would suffer cuts.

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BBC Norfolk and Suffolk mental health patients sent away for treatment

6 thoughts on “BBC: Norfolk and Suffolk mental health patients sent away for treatment”

  1. The mental health service is a joke! I’ve been admitted twice in the past year to Wedgwood house in bury st edmunds and most recently was discharged 2 and a half months ago and have since seen a psychiatrist once and am still waiting to hear about having a care plan and worker. It’s a joke! I sit here daily being haunted by my ghosts not knowing whether I’m coming or going and often feeling suicidal. I am constantly phoning the service for help and am still receiving none even when im feeling extremely suicidal. I’m obviously not important so I have decided to stop taking my meds and let my life go the way it’s supposed to without being strung along by a service which hides behind funding cuts, as if that’s a good excuse!  The mental health system is broken!

    Mental health? More like mental hell!!

  2. In response to Chris’ comments above, the Trust needs to ackowledge what is happening to service-users and do something urgently to address the situation; we need an open access emergency psychiatic clinic staffed by a psychiatrist, Community mental health nurse, social worker, support worker, so that we can give urgent help to all those service-users who are going into crisis for lack of a care plan and review of treatment. It’s not the campaign which is alienating service-users from the service but people’s daily experience and feelings of having been abandoned. Similarly it is not the Campaign which is affecting staff morale and recruitment but the shame of not being able to deliver an adequate and safe service. We need urgent action to restore confidence – bring back the link-worker service, open a hospital ward in Central Norfolk, bring back Band 6 staff to the Crisis Teams, provide them with adequate medical cover, restore the two posts for homeless people in Norwich and recreate an Assertive Outreach Team, perhaps in conjunction with a voluntary organization; if we can spot purchase pseudo beds from a voluntary organization why cant we cant we work jointly with Julian Support to set up a comprehensive community assertive/avtive outreach team to provide a preventive service for those with the severest forms of mental illness?

  3. What Terry is saying makes complete sense, I dont think anyone understands why this Trust won’t listen , do they want all of the different teams to fail? Also I can assure this Trust that this campaign has helped Staff and Service Users alike by giving them a voice and the sole reason morale is now at rock bottom is the way Staff have been treated during this “redesign”.

  4. As a service user for over 11 years now, I have had to live through the most appalling decline of what was already a just barely adequate service. Staff can offer no support now. Despite suicidal thoughts & self-harming again Psychiatrist just made new appt. CPN only offered the usual “phone support”! They rely on my partner providing all my care & at times keeping me alive when all I wish for is death. The toll on him is written in his face, which only makes me feel guilty for putting him through some truly dreadful times. The NSFT adoption of Recovery Colleges is farcical. Courses already closing due to no interest before they’ve even formally adopted it. It’s an obnoxious excuse to cut staff & services with a cut-price service which is “not fit for purpose”. No Research has been done on Recovery Colleges, only “evidence” it works is ENTIRELY anecdotal as said by Dr Hadrian Balls. So we’re being dumped with a service that is going to lead to more people in crisis & more deaths. I feel that the entire board of NSFT should be forced to resign as they have destroyed any “care” there was left. If they had any moral core they would stop hiding behind the mantra “the Govt. are forcing us to do this” & step up & take responsibility for forcing through massive cuts which they KNOW will cost lives. Obviously none of them care a damn what happens to Mental Health NHS patients, probably all have full private healthcare for themselves & their families. Heaven help them if they have a breakdown & end up trapped in a service that can offer nothing but medication that doesn’t work & a faceless voice trying to offer support.

  5. I know this article is old, but I hadn’t realised there had been all these problems discovered at Wedgwood in Bury St. Edmunds. I thought I was the only one who has been ruined by the unprofessional and frankly unethical rubbish I had to deal with during my “treatment” at this centre. Having a mental health issue leaves one in a dangerously vulnerable position and to feel that medical staff in positions of responsibility, who should be trained to understand the needs of their patients, could be so oblivious of those patients needs and emotions. How frighteningly irresponsible when they are dealing with life or death issues. My treatment has been criminal with desperate consequences to my family, my lifestyle and me. I lost my job through my illness.The company I worked for discriminated against me because of my mental health issue and that in turn made the situation worse. I was getting no support from the NHS Mental Health counsellor I was allocated to who asked me what I was actually trying to achieve by my visits with him. I would have thought that obvious as I had been seeing him for months. I was told I had missed appointments when I hadn’t and in fact in some instances had arrived for my appointment, but couldn’t be seen as my counsellor was busy with another “problem”. Another term for a mental health patient I presume. The psychiatrist I was allocated at Wedgwood was initially fantastic, but he left and I was suddenly seeing someone else , more senior supposedly, who required all the history once again and in one half hour chat summed up that they would have me “sorted in no time”. I did not appreciate the production line style behaviour with total lack of empathy, the aggressive questioning, the leading questions, the arrogant posturing and total lack of professionalism. After 20 years of chatting with psychiatrists I know the difference between sincerity and a brush off. I decided to wait for a new replacement junior psychiatrist and see if they were any better. I was put on the list of patients for the new junior psychiatrist and waited. I received an appointment request from the psychiatrist I had no faith in, but cancelled the appointment as I knew I would only end up feeling more depressed after the visit. I told my counsellor what was happening and as I was going through a particularly bad period with work and my worry of being forced to see this psychiatrist. He, unbeknown to me and without my consent, contacted the psychiatrist and advised them I had a problem with them and was there someone else I could see. It was after that, that I was removed from the list and I received a letter from this totally unprofessional psychiatrist saying that I could not see any other psychiatrist unless I saw them first. Of course this did not improve my disposition at all and because of this coupled with pressures at work I had a complete breakdown from which I have not yet recovered. After months during which time my medication was altered and reduced by this psychiatrist, without having recently seen me, I received a letter saying I could see a more junior psychiatrist, but it had to be with my counsellor. At that meeting I was promised various treatments etc, but four years later, with no follow up appointments or information I was supposed to have received, I am still waiting. That is how interested, professional and caring the NHS Mental Health care is in the UK. Totally deficient if any form of professionalism or any sense of reality of who they are dealing with nor the consequences of their actions. I have absolutely no faith in the broken system nor any of the so called caring professionals who are supposed to be helping me get back on my feet. I have been a tax paying citizen of this country and the thanks in my hour of need is to be bullied, accused of lying, neglected and treated with contempt by the very department of the NHS that should be shielding me from the same. I feel broken now.

  6. I’ve been broken too.  Twice.  In Norfolk, the crisis team and community team together left me with no proper assessment/care plan etc  I went into crisis after i started getting flashbacks to do with being raped by a psychiatric nurse on a previous mental health system “intervention”.  The crisis team didn’t want to know what was wrong with me (they reckoned i was just psychologically dysfunctional for no particular reason) and i got the usual not interested, bullying, “i haven’t got time for you right now”, “why are you phoning the helpline just cos you’re feeling suicidal i’ve been on shift since this morning…..” approach. I subsequently had “contact” with three workers from a community team whose so obvious mental dysfunction just made me feel outraged that they get paid to offer that around while people like me get insulted and abused when we feel bad.  So i told them to F off before they broke me more (of course i got the usual “oh you’re not engaging with services dribble we’re gonna get childrens services to take your kids away because you’re an unfit mother” (where can us patients refer unfit practitioners please?).  And i’m much better for it although i’m still struggling.  There’s no point depending on a service that treats you so terribly.  I agree that staff have been treated badly by the Trust but how does that excuse the unfit, unprofessional, and generally seriously bad approach to nursing care of the mentally ill? Am i deluded for thinking that nurses should come with a caring, empathetic approach to their work no matter how shit they feel? If they can’t stop themselves taking it out on their patients then they shouldn’t get paid for doing a job they are not doing!!! I’m glad i left psychiatric nursing years ago – i wouldn’t have fitted in.

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