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NSFT reveals plans to improve services in west Suffolk

​The Board of Directors of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) were this afternoon told about exciting plans to improve mental health services in west Suffolk.

During a meeting held in public at the Diss Business Hub, NSFT Managing Director Julie Cave outlined how mental health and wellbeing services currently provided in outdated premises in Bury St Edmunds could be relocated into purpose-built accommodation in a “Public Service Village” being created in the town.

The initiative would result in a one-stop shop with other public services, giving the local population access to a wider range of services, shorter waiting times and improved clinical outcomes as well as reduced property running costs for the taxpayer.

NSFT, which runs services on two sites in Hospital Road, has expressed an interest in moving them to state-of-the-art purpose-built facilities at the Western Way Development in 2023.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is leading a project to create an integrated facility for public, health and community services, which could include mental health and outpatient, primary care, community care and social care services as part of a masterplan for the Western Way site agreed in 2016.

Julie said: “It’s still very early days but we believe the Public Service Village presents our organisation, service users and carers with many opportunities.

“Many of the community services we provide in Hospital Road are based in old hospital wards which are no longer fit-for-purpose and offer little, if any, opportunity for integrated working relationships with other services within the Trust and key partner organisations.

“We have agreed a memo of understanding with the borough council and are working with them and key health stakeholders to develop a business case for facilities which will provide integrated services.”

She said that if the scheme progresses, staff, NSFT Governors, service users and carers would be closely involved in further developing plans.

The Trust’s West Suffolk Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) is based at the Hospital Road site and provides a range of specialist community mental health services, including for older people and children, families and young people (CFYP).

Other staff based there include maintenance and transport staff, and people working for Suffolk Wellbeing, which provides a range of support for people with common mental health and emotional issues.

Julie said that the relocation of services to an integrated facility, shared with other partners, is one of the top 10 priorities of the Suffolk and North East Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).

Caption: NSFT Managing Director Julie Cave

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