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Campaign group and mental health trust for Norfolk and Suffolk pledge to work together

PUBLISHED: 12:40 21 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:27 22 August 2014

Members of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk at the North Norfolk Clinical Commisioning Group meeting at Aylsham.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Members of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk at the North Norfolk Clinical Commisioning Group meeting at Aylsham. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

A campaign group has pledged to work more closely with the mental health bosses in Norfolk and Suffolk, it has been announced.

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk - a vocal critic of a redesign of local services - was established at the end of last year following concerns about the reduction of inpatient beds and staff numbers at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

However, both organisations today announced that they would now be working together to ensure the services provided meet the needs of both counties.

New NSFT chief executive Michael Scott and chairman Gary Page met representatives from the campaign last month to listen to patients’ and carers’ concerns about mental health services.

Officials from the trust have now agreed to meet with campaigners regularly to discuss areas where improvement could be made.

Mr Page said: “We share a common objective with the campaign to improve the quality of care we provide to our service users. By listening to their experiences as well as those of carers and staff we want to work with the campaign to address those areas where we acknowledge improvements need to be made.”

“In order for this to happen and for a constructive relationship to develop, we would urge it not to personalise the campaign and to ensure that information presented on the website is both balanced and accurate.”

A spokesman for the campaign added that they had updated their website to ask people for their experiences, comments, ideas and suggestions to help improve mental health services locally.

“We believe public accountability is central to the effective delivery of public services. While we disagree with the trust on some issues, we do agree the need to work together for the good of mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk; to focus on specific areas of concern is a good start. The first of these foci is access to mental health services.”

“We all agreed that gathering as much data as possible from service users, carers, members of the public, members of staff and indeed other health professionals, be they positive or negative, should help better shape the future,” said the spokesman.

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