NHS staff badly need more support

Jeremy Hunt at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Credit NSFT

Jeremy Hunt at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Credit NSFT - Credit: NSFT

The health secretary Jeremy Hunt was given a mixed reception during his visit to Norfolk on January 18.

MORE: West Norfolk deficit will hit other parts of the health system, says Jeremy HuntHe suggested that nurses could soon receive better pay, praised Norfolk's NHS staff and spoke of long-term plans to ensure hospitals don't endure the 'nightmare-ish' winters we have witnessed again this year.

But many will be sceptical.

Mr Hunt's visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), in King's Lynn, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), and the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), will have done little for many in easing concerns over the future of the NHS.

Protesters from the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk waited at Hellesdon Hospital for Mr Hunt's visit. Some blamed him for the problems the NSFT is facing, having been plunged back into special measures last year.

Mr Hunt spoke of ambitions for Britain to have the best mental health provision available anywhere and promised 'special help' to get back on track.

Now he needs to act on that.

We promise to follow the situation closely and help the fight for badly-needed support for our health services. Mr Hunt is correct in saying that those who work for our NHS services under extremely challenging conditions deserve enormous praise.

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Now it is time to give them the support that they so desperately need.