�4m savings from Norfolk and Suffolk mental health merger

The merger of Norfolk and Suffolk's mental health trusts has so far led to savings that, over the course of a year, will add up to �4m, a meeting was told.

More than 100 redundancies have been made by bringing together Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust in January.

At a meeting of Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee yesterday, the boss of the new organisation, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, told how none of the 104 posts made redundant were clinical roles.

Chief executive Aidan Thomas said: 'It has been in administrative and backroom functions and across Norfolk and Suffolk, not just in one county.'

He said that three-quarters of the redundancies had been voluntary, and slightly more of the job losses had come from Suffolk, as the headquarters of the trust was now based at Hellesdon, on the outskirts of Norwich, and most of the St Clement's site at Ipswich, where Suffolk's headquarters used to be based, was due to sold soon.

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He added that Suffolk had retained some necessary support staff, such as in human resources and finance, as well as its own operational director.

Committee members also heard how the merger had brought many benefits, and meant the trust was now big enough to be able to create its own inpatient unit for children, as the small number needing this care currently have to be sent out of both counties.

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Mr Thomas said there had been no reductions in services as a result of the merger. He also reassured members that services would remain tailored to different areas, and the trust was working hard to engage with patients and user groups across such a large geographical area.


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