Mental health campaign calls for support services to return to north Norfolk

Member of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, Terry Skyrme. PHOTO: A

Member of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, Terry Skyrme. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Mental health campaigners will hold a public meeting in Cromer to call for the return of support services to north Norfolk.

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk are holding the event to highlight a number of services that used to exist in the area which they say have been 'abolished or reduced'.

Campaigners say these include a community mental health team, a crisis team, a specialist mental health team, psychiatric nurses attached to GP surgeries, a criminal justice team, and the Norfolk Recovery Partnership.

It comes as an independent evaluation of adult mental health services has been commissioned by the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership for Norfolk and Waveney.

The meeting, called 'Rebuild NHS Mental Health Services in North Norfolk', will be held at Cromer Methodist Church on Friday, November 30, at 6.30pm.

Promotional material for the meeting states: 'Recently in north Norfolk there has been a series of tragedies and in Cromer several deaths of those suffering from mental illness and unable to obtain the urgent help needed.'

The campaign is petitioning for the setting up of an emergency NHS psychiatric walk-in clinic, 'ideally in Cromer', and to express their 'anger and dismay at these tragic events'.

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A spokesperson for NHS North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (NNCCG), who commission health services in the district, said: 'Everyone takes the provision of safe and effective care for people with mental health issues very seriously and we know staff are working tremendously hard in the face of great pressure.

'Many mental health services are commissioned across all of Norfolk and Waveney, so everyone has equal access to them.

'The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) works closely with primary care, and provides each GP surgery with a mental health lead.

'Anyone needing emergency support can access primary care or crisis provision via NSFT, seven days a week.'

Campaigners met with NNCCG ahead of the launch of the service review, which the public are invited to contribute to.

It will look at demand, models of care and bed numbers, and close on Friday, November 23.

The survey is available online here.

An NSFT spokesperson said: 'All of our teams, ranging from our children, families and young people's services to our older people's services, see service users and patients in their own homes or other local locations, such as GP practices, schools or colleges.

'For example, in north Norfolk, staff from our adult services support more than 500 people aged 26-75 with severe or enduring mental health issues, all of whom have been visited by our staff in their own home.

'Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney has local bases in north Norfolk and uses community facilities, such as village halls, in the district.

'Our staff also signpost service users to other local resources, such as the men's sheds in North Walsham and Sheringham.'

• Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney (and Wellbeing Suffolk) can be accessed via 0300 1231503 or and the free Samaritans helpline can be accessed by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.