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Suffolk: Watchdog raises concerns over plans to cut 500 mental health jobs

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 January 2013

Dr Alan Murray, chairman of Suffolk's Health Scrutiny Committee

Dr Alan Murray, chairman of Suffolk's Health Scrutiny Committee

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A HEALTH watchdog has vowed to keep a “close check” on a radical redesign of mental health services which could lead to 500 job cuts.

Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee raised a number of concerns regarding plans drawn up by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), pledging to work closely with colleagues north of the border to ensure the quality of service does not deteriorate for patients.

Chairman of the committee Alan Murray echoed the concerns of the British Medical Association regarding plans to cut the number of consultant doctors by a third and other grades of doctors by 40 per cent in three years.

Dr Murray added: “The bottom line is I am concerned they are making cuts which equate to the level of commissioned work in the last quarter of last year. We were concerned it will be difficult to upgrade services and expand quickly to meet rising demand.”

Leigh Flemming NSFT commercial director said: “In line with the rest of the NHS, NSFT will have approximately five per cent less to spend for each of the next four years.

“Rather than simply cut costs, our senior clinicians have been leading on a service strategy that takes a fresh look at our services and they have proposed new ways of delivering care which will be affordable and deliver the same, if not better, outcomes for patients.”

An Ipswich man who stole a bank card and a mobile phone from his mother will be sentenced next month after a pre-sentence report has been prepared on him.

A former Suffolk school pupil has been called up to represent England’s under-20s team in two major international competitions.

Two brothers have been ordered to carry out unpaid work for possessing an air gun in public.

Reports of dogs worrying livestock in Suffolk have prompted appeals for pet owners to act responsibly.

Women’s rights campaigner Helen Taylor, 46, founded Suffolk’s first feminist society in 2016. Reporter Gemma Mitchell has caught up with her to gain her views on gender inequality and how to tackle it.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is seeking the services of a special volunteer – one who isn’t afraid of the dark.

Hopes of developing through rail services between Ipswich and the south west of England are still being considered – despite fears that a new cross-country rail link may only be for commuter services.

Much of the area of Ipswich, bound by Cauldwell Hall Road, Woodbridge Road and Foxhall Road, is part of the town developed by the Suffolk Freehold Land Society.

The proposed merger of Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils may have been put back by the promise of a referendum in south Suffolk – but the consultation on the future of the authorities continues.

Forecasters have warned of strong winds of around 65mph that are expected to sweep into the county this evening, as a wet and windy night is expected to continue into the morning.

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