Tour highlights mental health

IPSWICH will be the first stop on a county-wide tour by mental health bosses taking to the roads to gauge public opinion.The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership will transform the way it provides services if the government agree to grant it NHS Foundation Status.

IPSWICH will be the first stop on a county-wide tour by mental health bosses taking to the roads to gauge public opinion.

The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership will transform the way it provides services if the government agree to grant it NHS Foundation Status.

If the partnership's application is accepted, the Suffolk public will have a greater say on how money is spent, and what services are run and where.

Chief executive Mark Halladay said: “We want to give everyone in Suffolk the chance to share their opinions about our plans, and have the opportunity to join us to help share the mental well-being of their families, their communities and their mental health services.

“Good mental well-being is important to everyone. Suffolk is a great place in which to live and to work but we want to make it even better. We need people's views on our plans so that we can make this happen.”

A series of consultation events start in Ipswich on Tuesday before moving across the county to locations including Felixstowe, Hadleigh, Stowmarket and Wickham Market.

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At Ipswich Town Hall from 11am to 2pm members of the public will be invited to have their say and a giant whiteboard guest book will be set up to capture ides.

There will also be a stilt walker dressed up as a daffodil to attract attention.

The tour will visit St John's Church Hall, Bury St Edmunds, on July 18, The Guildhall, Hadleigh, on August 3, the United Reformed Church, Stowmarket on August 11, Trinity Methodist Church, Felixstowe, on August 30 and the Resource Centre, Wickham Market, on September 19.

To take part in the consultation, you can also visit www.smhp.nhs.uk and take part in an online survey.

NHS foundation trusts are a new type of NHS trust which are accountable to the populations they serve rather than the government. They still have to meet nationally-set standards but, because they are overseen by local people, who can join as members and stand as governors, they are free to develop services driven by the area's needs.

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