Gallery: Carlton Court demonstration Saturday 13th September 2014

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.

2 thoughts on “Gallery: Carlton Court demonstration Saturday 13th September 2014”

  1. The outcome of the public ‘ consultation ‘ on this issue will be made on 25/9/14 at 1.30 pm at Beccles House in Beccles. We need everyone there!

  2. Out here on the coast where nothing much happens and the crisis teams travel by horse and cart, the weekend’s ennui was broken by the arrival of a creditably large demonstration. Almost as surprising was the arrival of the Acute Service Manager, ostensibly to reassure the patients that they weren’t about to be murdered in their beds by the rampaging hordes outside. Yeah, right: also a fine opportunity to check out the staff turnout for the demo and to measure the strength of la resistance.

    This would be a shame: it’s a shame also that there haven’t been Band 8s and above out on the ward reassuring the patients that their local mental health unit is not about to be thrown to the wolves. The usual response is that they say that they don’t know what the plans are, which as well all know, is total bollocks. By a process of elimination and non-response to questions it seems the long term plan is to shut the acute wards and to reconfigure the space to move CAMHS in.

    I can’t help but feel sorry for our acute service manager. Not only is this post-holder more sympathetic to the campaign than the post allows, she is also universally liked and  respected by the team at Waveney Acute: a rare phenomenon indeed. But nonetheless there is a seething anger within the workforce, who are fed up with being misled at best and lied to at worst. and who are sick of the obfuscations and the bewildered protestations of innocence that usually follow a direct request about what is going on with our patients, and our, futures.

    Before she left NSFT to greater and better-paid things. Ms Chapman sent the team at Waveney Acute an email to say that she understood how stressful the consultation process was going to be and that staff would be kept informed about this process. What have we had instead? Nothing, except someone finding out from the Trust Website of the plans to close Waveney Acute. So much for consultation. So much for us.

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