Search

Campaigners In Norfolk And Suffolk Take Mental Health Concerns To Parliament

Campaigners have travelled to Westminster to meet a health minister and MPs to raise concerns about mental health services.

Campaigners met outside Norwich station before they left for Parliament
Photo - ANDREW SINCLAIR: Campaigners met outside Norwich station before they left for Parliament

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has been warned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that it must improve.


Campaigner Mark Harrison said the government and the NHS had "to take action" over the trust.


The trust said it was working on improvements to its services.

Joe Plumb Mental Health Concerns
Campaigner Mark Harrison said NSFT needed to be replaced with a functioning mental health service

Both Labour and Conservative MPs from Norfolk and Suffolk have called on the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to intervene in the running of the trust.


Campaigners want independent statutory public inquiry into the trust and for it to be disbanded and replaced.


Mr Harrison said the failures of NSFT were "unacceptable" and DHSC and NHS England needed to do more.


He said this was the first time the campaign group has met a health minister but "it will only be an achievement if it translates into real change".

Tom Hunt MP said the culture at NSFT had become "toxic"
Photo: ANDREW SINCLAIR - Tom Hunt MP said the culture at NSFT had become "toxic"

Conservative MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt said it was a "very worthwhile meeting".


"It reaffirmed my position [that] we've got to have radical change," he said.

The MP described NSFT as "one of the worth mental health trusts in the country".


He said in the short-term there needed to be a strategy to keep mental health services running but in the long-term there need to be "a new organisation with new culture, a positive culture".

Mr Hunt said he had "confidence" in Ms Keegan but said she "didn't want to commit to anything in particular" after the meeting.


He added the Norfolk and Suffolk MPs will meet the minister again "soon".


In a statement NSFT said it needed to do more for people waiting for their services and that they're working on improvements.


It added: "We are focusing on five key areas - safety, timely access, engaging with staff, governance and leadership and changing services to meet people's needs - so that we can make sure everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk receives the mental health services they deserve."