Mental health trust gets £40m funding boost - but what about Suffolk?
The mental health trust for Suffolk and Norfolk is set to receive almost £40million in funding for a new mental health ward in Norfolk - a decision which has left some asking 'what about Suffolk'.
The money, which will increase the number of beds available at the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT)'s Hellesdon Hospital to 31, comes as the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces a £1.8billion cash injection for the NHS.
Jonathan Warren, NSFT's chief executive, said: "We are absolutely delighted that we have been awarded this significant share of government funding, which will make a real difference to our service users and their families.
"Although plans are at an early stage, we are proposing to use the money to build a state-of-the-art unit at Hellesdon Hospital to which three of our existing, outdated wards will relocate, vastly improving the quality and safety of the environment in which our service users receive care."
Stuart Richardson, NSFT's chief operating officer, said the new ward would help tackle the issue of out of area placements.
The cash is part of a successful bid submitted by the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) to build four new hospital wards in Norwich, providing 80 beds.
However, a spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said services in Suffolk were crying out for more funding too.
He said: "We, of course, welcome the £40m investment in building new beds in Norfolk for which we have been campaigning for over five years.
"But this large sum of money does nothing to improve failing community, crisis, CAMHS and liaison services in Suffolk.
"For a long time, we have heard complaints from patients, carers and much of the Suffolk health economy that NSFT barely acknowledges the existence of Suffolk, that a better job could be done without NSFT and that only the intervention of NHS England is stopping the local replacement of NSFT.
"We're wary of re-organisations as a panacea, but, following three CQC failures and this announcement of nothing for Suffolk, we wonder whether now is the time for Suffolk to be able to integrate mental health services as it believes is right."