Beds Crisis: EDP: How 140 NHS mental health beds have been cut in Norfolk and Suffolk

Investigative reporter Tom Bristow of the Eastern Daily Press reports:

A quarter of mental health beds in Norfolk and Suffolk have been lost in the last four years.

While England has seen the number of mental health beds fall by 3,500 since 2012, a drop of 16pc, the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), which provides the majority of mental health services in the region, has cut 25pc of beds in the same period – 139.

In January 2014, NSFT bosses said they would stop sending patients out of the area for treatment within four months.
Four years on and the numbers have rocketed, reaching 606 bed days in March – up from 26 in April last year. Almost all of those patients are from Norfolk rather than Suffolk.

A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “NSFT’s board promised that beds would not be closed until it was shown they were no longer needed. But it closed beds and made the beds crisis even worse. People have died or suffered life-changing injuries following the unavailability of local NHS beds.”

The claim of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) that there are enough mental health beds in Norfolk in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is patently nonsense. Given the number of deaths and the findings of the most recent CQC inspection, it is also deeply offensive.

Read the article in full on the EDP website by clicking on the image below, which has some very good graphics and charts which expose the full extent of the cuts to mental health services.

Even better, support the local investigative journalism which is so important to our campaign by buying a copy of the Norwich Evening News or Eastern Daily Press.

Join us on the March for Mental Health on Sunday 30th April at 11 a.m. on Norwich City Hall steps.


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