Suffolk and Norfolk mental health shake-up concerns

SMHP's chief executive Aidan Thomas Aidan Thomas, the chief executive of the trust, hopes change will improve the service

Related Stories

Concern has been raised over the pace of a major shake-up of mental health care in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is looking to cut up to 500 staff as it tries to make savings of £40m.

The Trust told the Norfolk and Suffolk scrutiny panel, meeting to oversee plans, that the concerns were being addressed.

Panel chairman Alan Murray said members broadly backed the need for a reorganisation.

The new strategy includes addressing people at an earlier stage of their illness to try and avoid the need for care beds to be used.

'Assurance over beds'

The reorganisation aims to have more people treated in the community.

Mr Murray said at the panel's meeting: "We are concerned with the speed of the changes, but supportive of change. More dialogue is needed with the Trust.

"Mental care, as a whole, can't be rushed."

Mr Murray said he was reassured by the trust that a possible cut in the numbers of beds available would only happen if other places were available or if the beds were not needed.

In October last year Bob Blizzard, ex Labour MP for Waveney, said the trust was looking at cutting the number of acute beds in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth from 42 to 20.

Mr Murray said: "We have been given an assurance that beds would not be closed until alternative arrangements were in place."

A trust spokeswoman said the actual number of proposed bed cuts was from 20 to 14 between now and 2016.

Aidan Thomas, chief executive of the trust, said after the meeting that he hoped "to avoid any compulsory job losses".

He said some areas of the service could be "better" following the changes.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features

  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Are we seeing a child ‘survival revolution’?


  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?


  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?


  • Health worker, MonroviaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts


  • MarsYour Martian home

    Is this how the cities of Mars will be built?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.