EDP: Four-fold increase in bill to send mental health patients out of the region

The Eastern Daily Press reports:

A lack of beds and increased demand led to a four-fold increase in the cost of sending people with mental health problems outside of Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014/15.

When a bed on a ward is not available for people who need it in the region they are sent elsewhere in the country, with the trust footing the bill.

Today’s AGM of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust heard how the annual cost for out of area placements rose from £0.8m to £3.3m last year.

The trust’s annual report says this was ‘due to the increasing demands placed on services…and rising community caseloads which was over and above the availability of beds and staffing capacity for which no additional funding was received’.

Of course, the report fails to mention the £17.25 million spent on unnecessary redundancies or the wards shut while the beds were still needed – with Waveney Acute Services closed only last month.

The trust, which is currently in special measures, ended the year with a £3.7m financial deficit, against a target of being £1.9m in surplus, which was also put down to increased spend on temporary staffing.

Some £24.8m went on temporary pay, 15pc of its pay bill and £8m higher than the previous year.

Further deeper cuts are on the way:

Set a target of finding £14.7m in savings in 2014/15, £10.9m was achieved but the remainder will need to be met in 2015/16.

From the Annual Report, the only improvement which is beyond doubt is in the mood of Michael Scott’s bank manager. It confirms that the salary of the Chief Executive of NSFT rose by 25 per cent and is more than the Minister of State responsible for mental health, Alistair Burt, the Health Secretary in the Cabinet, Jeremy Hunt and the Prime Minister, David Cameron. The value of Michael Scott’s pension pot increased by £175,000 in a single year.

Click on the image below to read the story on the EDP website:

EDP Four-fold increase in bill to send mental health patients out of the region

287 thoughts on “EDP: Four-fold increase in bill to send mental health patients out of the region”

  1. hmmmm. Why is there a lack of beds…….because the Trust closed them, and made the staff redundant…..ignoring anyone who spoke out against the ‘Radical Redesign’ .  A stupid title, because there has been no ‘redesign’, only a shambles left by the closures etc.

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