Suffolk User Forum (SUF), speaking on behalf of the many people in Suffolk who use, or might need to use mental health services, expressed their continuing concern at the lack of improvement in NSFT’s performance. SUF is now of the view that much more fundamental change is needed.
Jayne Stevens, SUF’s Manager, said that ‘SUF was now fully in support of the County’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) more radical strategy for transforming mental health and emotional wellbeing services’.
This new strategy has been developed very positively and jointly with Healthwatch Suffolk, Suffolk User Forum, Suffolk Parent Carer Network and Suffolk Family Carers. It would separate the approach in Suffolk from that in Norfolk.
In a coincidentally very timely and encouraging way, its is extremely positive that the new Suffolk transformation strategy has been endorsed at the Governing body meetings of both Ipswich and East Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and West Suffolk CCG in December 2019, within days of the CQC report being released.
SUF is very committed to working in co production with service users and family carers to ensure that the new strategy continues to be shaped and designed putting service users, families, carers and professionals at the centre of all decision making, to bring mental and physical health services closer together, to provide compassionate and accessible services and to make mental health everybody’s business.”
The following is a joint statement issued by Ed Garratt, Chief Officer of the NHS Ipswich & East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and Frank Sims, Chief Officer of the North and South Norfolk CCGs (on behalf of the Norwich, West Norfolk and Great Yarmouth & Waveney CCGs):
“We are extremely concerned that despite the efforts of many dedicated, hardworking members of staff, NSFT remains in special measures.
“The welfare of patients is of the utmost importance and fundamental changes need to be made to ensure they are safe and receive the best possible care.
“As a system it is imperative that we redouble our efforts to support NSFT’s staff, whose care and commitment has been acknowledged in the CQC report, to deliver those changes.
“Over the forthcoming days and weeks we will focus the trust on the areas of concern highlighted by the CQC as needing immediate attention to ensure its services are responsive, safe and resilient.
“In the longer term, mental health services are the subject of major reviews in both Suffolk and Norfolk.
“Members of the public, service users, carers and staff have all been involved in wide-ranging conversations about how to make services fit for the future and we are determined that out of these, long term improvements are put in place.
“In Suffolk, partners from a range of organisations including NSFT, Suffolk User Forum, Suffolk Parent Carer Network, Suffolk Family Carers and Healthwatch Suffolk have been working to identify what the county’s mental health strategy and model should look like in the future. Together with a wide-ranging survey #averydifferentconversation there has been excellent feedback to inform a developing Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Strategy. This strategy, along with an accompanying delivery plan, will go before the Suffolk CCGs’ governing bodies for approval in January.
“In Norfolk, two major reviews of adult and children’s/young people’s mental health services are continuing and are expected to report back in the New Year. The reviews have been informed by wide-ranging conversations that included a live discussion via Facebook in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area, an online survey, three public meetings and meetings involving staff and professionals.
“Together, our aim is to put service users, families, carers and professionals at the centre of our decision making, to bring mental and physical health services closer together, to provide compassionate and accessible services and to make mental health everybody’s business.”