Norfolk

Norfolk and Waveney: Mental health services 'failing'

Woman sitting Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The regional health and care partnership asked service users, carers, health and social workers and members of the public what they thought

Mental health services in an area served by a failing trust are not meeting the needs of people according to nearly 90% of people surveyed.

Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership asked 887 service users, carers, health and social workers and members of the public for their views.

The area is served by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), which has been criticised by a care watchdog.

The partnership said action was being taken to improve mental health.

'Speedier access'

The partnership, which is made up of 13 health bodies including the NSFT, consulted people over the wider provision of mental health support.

This could include advice from GPs, social workers, support in schools or specific adult mental health services provided by the NSFT.

One user of mental health services told the survey team: "GPs in Norfolk feel confused by NSFT services. GPs are the first port of call.

"If they don't understand our services, we are all in trouble."

Another user said some "social workers lack skills" and there was a need for "speedier access to support".

Image caption In March the NSFT was criticised over its record-keeping and communications with outside agencies after the death of Ellie Long, 15

A spokesman for the partnership said: "Mental health is not just about mental health services and needs to be everyone's business in Norfolk and Waveney.

"For example, nine out of 10 adults with mental health problems are supported in primary care.

"We need to work together as a whole system to come up with solutions to effectively use what resources we have, both now and in the future."

The Care Quality Commission, which checks on standards in health organisations, found the NSFT had unsafe acute wards and was seriously understaffed following an inspection in September.

In March, Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake criticised the NSFT over its record-keeping and communications with outside agencies after the death of Ellie Long, 15, who suffered from anorexia and was found hanged in her room in Wymondham in 2017.

The partnership report is going before Norfolk County Council's health and wellbeing board on Wednesday.

More on this story

Related Internet links

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