EDP: Last mental health inpatient unit in West Norfolk closes to new admissions

Nicholas Carding of the EDP reports:

Mental health patients in West Norfolk who need acute treatment face being sent to Norwich or further for a hospital bed after bosses closed the last remaining unit to new admissions.

But a spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk described the situation as a “tragic farce”, and said it was a result of decades of under-investment in mental health.

“The people of Norfolk and Suffolk can’t afford to lose another 20 acute psychiatric inpatient beds,” the spokesman said.

“Talk of staff shortages, building issues and temporary closure are the same excuses used previously to close vital wards.”

The spokesman said the trust was paying the price of making many staff redundant during the organisation’s redesign during 2012-13.

Here we go again. In April 2013, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) wasted millions making 41 experienced and highly trained staff in King’s Lynn redundant and destroyed morale. We warned Michael Scott and Norfolk County Council about the worsening staffing crisis in West Norfolk twelve months ago. Now NSFT claims it can’t staff the Fermoy Unit and closes it without notice, consultation or announcement.  What a disgrace.

Campaigners in King’s Lynn are arranging a march and public meeting in protest. If you’d like to help or get involved, get in touch.

Click on the image below to read the article in full on the EDP website:

EDP Last mental health inpatient unit in West Norfolk closes to new admissions

11 thoughts on “EDP: Last mental health inpatient unit in West Norfolk closes to new admissions”

  1. The West Norfolk commissioners and NSFT Board obviously despise relatives, carers and staff too.

    This is exactly what was done at Waveney Acute Services at Carlton Court. Remember that they maintained the fiction that the other wards in King’s Lynn never closed even though they made the staff redundant and removed all the furniture. These beds will never reopen.

    They also seem to be trying to obfuscate that Mundesley Hospital is private not NHS and will cost the NHS at least £3,000 per patient per week.

  2. Oddly this ‘enhanced recruitment programme’ consists of the removal of Fermoy unit vacancies from the NHS jobs website. Come on Mr Scott, do you really think we are that dim??

  3. We have asked the Clinical Commissioning groups, and especially South Norfolk CCG, the lead CCG for mental health, whether they have any strategy, any 5 year plan, any rough estimate, as to how many acute psychiatric beds we need for the population in Norfolk and Suffolk. Why are we paying these fat cat bureaucrats so much money when they cant plan services or provide them? It feels as if services are planned completely off the cuff in a knee jerk fashion with mental health services always the loser in this bureaucratic, unaccountable system. While I’m at it, how does it make sense to fine cash-strapped hospitals, and what is happening with the “fines” money?

  4. I thought more money was now being ploughed into supporting mental health?  Whats going on and where is it going?

  5. David Cameron said on a recent TV interview, that he would end out of area beds by 2021, some EIGHT YEARS after the fiasco started, resulting in countless deaths, and agony for carers. 2021, is of course the date for the next election, unless called sooner, so no surprise there. Ie. do very little until 2021, if re-elected do a bit more if not leave the mess for someone else to sort out.

  6. Actually the commissions report in feb this year recommended that out of area beds be phased out BY  OCTOBER 2017………and then again, the trust said it would stop this by April 2015, (and we all know how well that went).  so I think the recommendations will be ignored / unachieveable.

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