News release issued by the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership
Health and care partners across Norfolk and Waveney are inviting residents to take part in a major review of local adult mental health services. The review will inform the development of a 10-year mental health strategy, ensuring services are delivered in ways that meet future needs.
Patricia Hewitt, Independent Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), said: "We started a conversation with local people in May and, building from that, are now expanding this important work to ensure residents have every chance to tell us what they think are working and, importantly, what needs to change."
Mental illness is thought to affect 163,000 adults in Norfolk and Waveney. Although rates of severe mental illness such as psychosis are broadly in line or lower than the UK average, there is a higher level of disease related to 'common mental illness' - problems such as depression, stress and anxiety. Up to 19.1% of the adult population are affected by depression or anxiety.
The region's ageing population has also driven dementia rates above the national average, most notably in north Norfolk where 1.2% of the population suffers with dementia compared to 0.8% across the UK.
The STP engagement programme to deliver a new mental health strategy for Norfolk and Waveney will include an online survey, public events and workshops. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) will provide independent analysis, ensuring key themes from the public feedback are identified and acted upon.
The review team will also look at examples of best practice from elsewhere in the UK and from other countries to build a case for change centred on three key ambitions:
1. Improving prevention and wellbeing so that people are helped to stay well.
2. Improving outcomes and the quality of services provided.
3. Making accessing services easier, and providing services in the correct setting, with smooth handovers from a service user's perspective
Dr Tony Palframan, Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney STP Mental Health Forum, said: "There has been year-on-year cash investment into new and existing mental health services which have expanded the breadth of services offered and improved quality of care for service users. However, there are considerable pressures on mainstream services and recruitment difficulties, resulting in out of area placements and longer waiting times.
"We need to change the way we deliver these important services in order to ensure the resource we have is being invested in a way that makes the most difference. But we need to hear from local patients, carers, professionals and residents more broadly to help us define a way forward."
The review team has begun discussions with GPs, clinicians and partners to gather their insights.
And the Norfolk and Waveney STP is inviting service users, families and members of the public to share their insights and have their say too.
Anyone can also feedback their views through the following online survey - www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/NWMentalHealthReview/
Printable and accessible versions of the survey that can be sent back via Freepost can be found here: www.southnorfolkccg.nhs.uk/have-your-say/norfolk-and-waveney-stp-adult-mental-health-service-review
There will also be a number of public events across the areas, and also smaller workshops, which are still being finalised and which will be publicised on CCG websites and HealthWatch Norfolk's website as soon as they are confirmed.