Mental health bed shortage concern in Norfolk

Mental health image Norfolk and Suffolk's NHS mental health services merged in 2012

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A lack of beds for children and young people with serious mental health problems in Norfolk is leading to some being kept at home, a report states.

The report by Healthwatch Norfolk and the University of East Anglia raises concerns about the lack of beds.

It says one clinician said some patients are kept at home "probably taking some more risks than we'd like".

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said it was working to solve the bed shortage.

'High level risks'

The Healthwatch report looks at in-patient mental health services for children and young people in Norfolk.

Such patients include those with violent behaviour, life-threatening eating disorders and people with a history of physical and/or sexual abuse.

The report says the lack of beds is leading to "high levels of risk" in the community as patients are kept at home waiting for a suitable bed to become available.

It also describes the process of admitting patients as "clunky" and calls for improvements.

Andy Goff, service manager for child and adolescent mental health services for the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said the report highlighted areas of concern.

"Across the system there are quite a lot of improvements that need to happen," he said.

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