Mental health services across Norfolk and Suffolk need more beds not fewer. The people of Waveney need a local hospital, section 136 suite and crisis team. Many of the people who use Carlton Court are not local but come from across Norfolk and Suffolk. We cannot allow the destruction of an integrated mental health care system and the creation of expensive local bureaucratic empires and a postcode lottery.
The decision has been made to close Carlton Court but it won’t be announced until 25th September 2014. It isn’t too late to push for a late change of mind but our only hope is to show the strength of public opinion and demonstrate the obvious stupidity of closure. Are the politicians, commissioners and NSFT foolish enough to ignore mental health needs? Public support for closure is less than ten per cent. Remember when the Chair of Norfolk & Suffollk NHS Foundation Trust, Gary Page, went on the radio and said there were no plans to close any beds in Suffolk? Remember the damning letter to the public consultation from the AMHPs in Suffolk? Remember the letter from the nurses looking after Waveney patients in Norwich? Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG was rightly proud of its consultation but what was the point if public opinion is ignored?
There was no sign of North Norfolk MP and the Secretary of State at the Department of Health directly responsible for mental health, Norman Lamb, who duplicitously claims to be on our side. Perhaps he was feeling too sheepish to attend? Lowestoft MP Peter Aldous was absent too, unwilling to be counted along with his constituents.