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Over 1,000 respond to mental health consultation

More than 1,000 people have taken the opportunity to share their views on proposals to improve adult mental health and dementia services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Over the past 12 weeks, HealthEast has been asking for feedback on three proposals developed by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), which provides mental health services for local people. The extensive consultation closed at 5pm on Thursday 24 April, and attracted a total of 1,055 responses.

The consultation asked for views on three changes proposed by NSFT which aim to provide patients with the most appropriate services to meet their needs. It built on the philosophy that wherever possible, services should be delivered in people’s own homes by a team of health and social care professionals working closely together to reduce duplication and prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.

Rebecca Driver, director of engagement at HealthEast, said: “We are really pleased that we received so many responses to this important consultation, and would like to thank everyone who took the time to come to our meetings, fill in our online survey or write to us with their views. We have now passed all of the responses we received onto an independent analyst who will evaluate them before reporting back to our governing body on 5 June.
“As commissioners, it is important for us to fully understand the views of the people we serve so that we can shape the services we buy on their behalf to meet their needs.
“We will now take the time to examine the responses fully before making a final decision on the proposals later in the year.”

A report which looks at views raised during the consultation will be presented to HealthEast’s governing body meeting on 5 June, with the CCG discussing its response at its following meeting on 24 July.

The CCG is expected to take a final decision on the proposals in September.

The proposals on which the consultation was based are:
1. Adult mental health services
Reduce the number of adult acute beds (currently at Northgate Hospital and Carlton Court) from 28 to 20 and relocate onto one site. An enhanced crisis resolution and home treatment team would also be developed, along with community teams, peer support and a recovery college where people could learn about coping with mental illness.

2. Dementia and complex care in old age services
Close 12 dementia assessment beds at Carlton Court and develop a dementia intensive support team to work with patients in the community. Four specialist beds at the Julian Hospital in Norwich would be available for patients with complex needs who require inpatient assessment.

12 beds for older people with conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia would also close at Carlton Court, with care instead provided by the proposed adult mental health service. Three assessment beds would be available at the Julian Hospital for complex patients.

3. Information and resource centre
Develop an information and resource centre to provide information, advice and support to people with dementia and mental health problems and their families. This would include a dementia café in south Lowestoft, developed in partnership with other organisations. A second information and resource centre could be developed in Great Yarmouth.