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The lives lost in Norfolk and Suffolk’s mental health crisis

Mental Health Deaths. Photo: Archant

Mental Health Deaths. Photo: Archant

Archant

Mental health services have been in crisis for at least five years.

At NSFT doctors first raised concerns over cuts in January 2013, as more than 500 mental health jobs faced the axe in what was known as a radical redesign of services.

Senior psychiatrists warned at the time that patient safety would be put at risk and said the trust was being “downright dishonest’’ for failing to state that the cuts would have detrimental effects on patient care.

Since, campaigns have been launched - including one by this newspaper - to improve care.

But many have still died while under the trust’s care or while trying to access support . And despite assurances that lessons would be learned whenever failings were identified, inspectors this time said: “The trust did not learn from previous lessons and did not share information about incidents effectively.”

Just some of those deaths where failings have been identified are listed here.

A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “This report is worse than the previous inadequate report which saw the mental health trust placed into special measures.

“If NSFT is unresponsive, how can we expect it to improve? It defies belief that significant concerns raised by the regulator four years ago in 2014 have still not been addressed.

“Frankly, we do not believe that NSFT is capable of improvement. It doesn’t appear that the CQC has much faith in NSFT either. The people of Norfolk and Suffolk have suffered for too long, there have been too many funerals and inquests. We deserve better. It is now time for our MPs to demand decisive action from health secretary, Matt Hancock.”

But Antek Lejk, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Since receiving the draft report, we have been taking action to address the immediate concerns found by the CQC and listening to our staff and service users to make sure we fully understand the deeper challenges faced by the Trust. This will allow our new senior management team to make long-term, sustainable changes which are based on their knowledge and experience and also draw on best practice from across the wider NHS. We are determined to get things right.”

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