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NHS England awards multi-million pound contract to NSFT

​NHS England has awarded Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust (NSFT) a five-year contract to provide mental health services at Norwich Prison, starting in April this year (2019).

The new contract for an integrated service was won in a competitive tendering process which means NSFT will also continue to provide Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services at Norfolk’s three prisons – Bure, Norwich and Wayland – and a Liaison and Diversion (L&D) service in Norfolk and Suffolk.

NSFT Chief Executive Antek Lejk said: “This success is largely down to the excellent work already being carried out by our Secure Services, L&D and IAPT teams.

“It’s been a tough time for our staff and service users following publication of the CQC inspection report in November and I’m hoping this news will be the tonic they deserve.

“I’m thrilled that we’ve retained our prison IAPT services and Liaison and Diversion Service and will provide mental health services at Norwich Prison from the spring.

“For several years we’ve been successfully providing IAPT services in Norfolk’s prisons and a Liaison and Diversion Service in both counties.

“The new contract will be managed by our Secure Services, which in its inspection report the CQC rated as ‘Good’.”

L&D is a service provided by NSFT in partnership with Norwich charity Julian Support and also with Project Nova, which supports service personnel and veterans who have been arrested or are at risk of arrest. Both of these partners were involved in the bid to retain the work.

Karen Clements, NSFT’s Secure Services Manager, said that mental health services at Norwich Prison were currently provided by Virgin Care.

“We fully expect that Virgin’s staff there, who include mental health nurses, will transfer to our Trust but we will also be taking on additional staff to service the contract,” she said.

“Our successful bid also includes resources at a management level to create a seamless health and justice pathway, which will help support continuity of care.

“The Liaison and Diversion service helps the courts to relieve pressure on the strained prisons system and our bid paves the way for the abolition of bottlenecks between IAPT and mental health services in prisons and between prison mental health services, community services and inpatient services.”

The new contract for an integrated service will run from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2024 after which NHS England will have an option to extend it for a further two years.

Caption: Karen Clements, Secure Services Manager

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