NSFT – A Warning from History: February 2013 EDP – Concerns for patients as 500 mental health jobs face axe in Norfolk and Suffolk

This is an example of how the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Board, NSFT governors, Norfolk and Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local MP and responsible minister, Norman Lamb, were warned of the largely predictable consequences of the ‘radical redesign’. Those who questioned whether the Operations Director’s ‘improvements’ would work safely were accused of ‘shroud waving’ or ostracised. This article appeared in the Eastern Daily Press in February 2013: fifteen months ago. You can read the full story on the EDP website by clicking on the image below.

Despite “bland assurances” Dr Jones said in a letter to NSFT medical director Hadrian Ball: “The proposed reductions to medical and other clinical staff will have a major impact on the quality of clinical care provided.

He added: “The clear implication of much of the proposals is that current levels of quality and activity will be maintained or even increased. We consider that this is totally inconceivable that the current level of service could be maintained in the face of such reductions.

“We consider that it is totally unsustainable, and that it is at best disingenuous and at worst downright dishonest of the trust to promote these proposals without clearly stating the effect that such a reduction in capacity will inevitably have on patients.

“We believe that it is inevitable within these proposals that both the quantity and quality of service delivery will decline, and that this will result in significant risks to patient safety.

Dr Jones raises concerns that the cuts will put staff under “extreme pressure to accept increased workloads and increased pressure of work, with the inevitable reduction in service quality and patient safety that this will entail.”

The letter goes on to criticise the 90-day consultation, stating staff have not been given adequate time to respond.

Dr Jones added: “We do not consider that this is true or meaningful consultation, and we do not consider that this is allowing staff a reasonable opportunity to engage with a process which is likely to have devastating consequences, not only for patient care but also for the individual careers of members of staff.”

And Dr Jansen raised concerns about the quality of service in more rural areas.

“In rural areas, staff are likely to be so overstretched that doing home visits will no longer be feasible,” Dr Jansen said.

“Psychiatrists will no longer have the time to travel to outlying clinics. This will seriously affect the access to care for our most isolated and vulnerable patients and result in less contact between mental health professionals and GPs.”

EDP Concerns for patients as 500 mental health jobs face axe in Norfolk and Suffolk

3 thoughts on “NSFT – A Warning from History: February 2013 EDP – Concerns for patients as 500 mental health jobs face axe in Norfolk and Suffolk”

  1. In 2012 NSFT’s Chief Executive told staff that the newly formed Bed-management team would solve the bed crisis; they said the Trust would set up a special conveyance team to assist AMHPs to get patients safely to Out of Area placements.Neither of these promises have come good. The Trust and North Norfolk CCG promised in January 2014 that they would end Out of Area Placements by the end of April 2014; at the beginning of May there were up to 20 patients from Norfolk scattered across England and a forther 9 in Suffolk. The number of referrals for assessments under the Mental Health Act continues to rise. Approved Social Workers ( now called AMHPs ) employed in Norfolk County Council Emergenct Duty Team have written to Harold Bodmer, Director of Adult Care Social Services, outlining their serious concerns about the bed crisis, stating that they are now so overwhelmed when on duty by mental health crisis work and the bed shortage that child protection work is suffering. Of course, Harold Bodmer is fully aware of the bed crisis but his silence is deafening. When will the Trust acknowledge that we need more HOSPITAL beds?

  2. Dr Jansen misses the point; the needs of vulnerable patients would be best served if the NHS sites best protected the patient’s Personal Data or gave the patient an opportunity to resolve that data in their records that is wrong? There is no point sending a Doctor to visit someone at their house when the visiting NHS representative blocks that patient from resolving false data and profiling in their records? For example, I do not have two children, let alone “two in care in Manchester”. But I did intervene to stop children going into care – to the point that i brought them up myself. It is not my fault that my records had been tampered with and edited. If the NSFT managers had released my records when I first asked, then my Kafka-esque Hell could have been halted by now.

    Instead, I watch money used to coverup crimes against patients. Breaks my heart because there are some wonderful GENUINELY hard working mental health workers within this trust.

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