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EDP Front Page Exclusive: Number of deaths at Norfolk and Suffolk mental health service surges

Nick Carding of the EDP reports exclusively:

Campaigners say their “worst fears have been confirmed” after it emerged that the number of unexpected deaths of mental health patients in the region is continuing to rise.

Figures published by the region’s mental health trust show more patients died unexpectedly in the first half of this financial year than during the whole of 2012/13.

In 2012/13 the trust reported 53 such deaths, but this figure rose to 105 in 2013/14. Last year there were 139 unexpected deaths and halfway into the 2015/16 financial year the number stands at 77.

A spokesman for Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk called for “decently funded” and “professionally managed” mental health services in the two counties. “These figures confirm our worst fears,” the spokesman said. “Would an increase of this kind be tolerated in physical health?

“If the second half of this year is as bad as the first half, three times as many people will die in 2015/16 compared to 2012/13.”

Out-of-area bed days have fallen from 713 in May to 118 in October.

A former patient of the trust who was sent out-of-area for treatment this year said: “I found it isolating and frightening, and my condition deteriorated. The practice is unacceptable and counter-productive.”

Select the image below to read the exclusive story in full on the EDP website:

EDP Front Page Mental Health Deaths Concern

4 thoughts on “EDP Front Page Exclusive: Number of deaths at Norfolk and Suffolk mental health service surges

  1. allwillbewell says:

    Forgive me please I’m confused! Jane Sayer says rise could be due to ‘taking on Norfolk Recovery Partnership’. Were they not previously known as TADS – Trust Alcohol Drug Service – and part of Norfolk and Waveney NHS FT that became NSFT? Is this continuous renaming aimed to, not only confuse, but conceal?
    Like EDP campaign but the photos. ….

  2. meshugana says:

    True, the constant state of flux at the NSFT is confusing. Under the guise of ‘improving services’, making them ‘leaner’ and now the new buzz word ‘flexible’ FACT: Flexible Assertive Community Teams, services in the community have certainly detereorated as reflected in this financial year’s projected tripling of unexpected deaths, i.e. suicides.
    Thoughout the years of redesign, and reallocation of resources which have been deflected from Service Users living in the community to Early Intervention and the Wellbeing Service, SUs and carers have been campaining for the reinstatement of adequately resourced crisis and outreach teams. The writing was on the wall regarding the neglect of seriously mentally ill people living for the most part on their own in the community. It was inevitable that some of these SUs needed regular clinical support and monitoring. The decision makers in the Trust not only turned a blind eye to warnings from SUs and carers, but still maintain a hubristic attitude to those who now say ‘We told you so’. People who made these fatal decisions can retire and live in comfort for the rest of their lives. They leave the incurables,their carers and the wonderful clinical staff to live with results of their mis-management.

  3. Terry skyrme says:

    It is incredible that we are in a much worse position now than 2012/13 when we were shocked then at the number of deaths that were occurring. At that time the response of the Trust management was to play down the figures stating that they were no worse than the national average, or they were due to an over-representation in the figures of people with drug and alcohol problems, as if that is ok.. Now the statistics are even more worrying and the same down-playing takes place. You would think that so many deaths would put the issue to Number One on the Trust Board meeting agenda. No such luck – you would struggle to find mention of the rise in deaths among all the bureaucratic wordiness of the Board’s agenda papers. Similarly NSFT are supposed to be participating in a local multi-agency Prevention of Suicide group; is there any feedback from this group? Any recommendations? The Trust says it looks at the circumstances of each death. Are there no lessons to be learned? This issue should be number one on the agenda.

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