Extra funding for mental health services in Norfolk
- Credit: Evening News Â© 2009
Vulnerable patients are set to get extra support after more than £500,000 was invested to hire more mental health staff at two Norfolk hospitals.
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will use the investment from Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) to place mental health staff in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn.
Health chiefs welcomed the extra funding, which will help recruit four mental health nurses for the psychiatric liaison team and an additional consultant psychiatrist this winter at the N&N.
The £365,000 from West Norfolk CCG will be used to establish a dedicated psychiatric liaison service for patients at the QEH, which will include a doctor and five mental health practitioners.
Officials said that the investment would mean that patients with mental health issues who are taken to hospital are more likely to receive specialist care, which can help them return safely home sooner.
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Michael Scott, chief executive of NSFT, said: 'These investments made by the CCGs are very welcome and offer really positive benefits for patients with mental health needs and a significant step forward in ensuring mental health is seen as an important priority equal to that of physical health.'
'The benefits are that patients get a more integrated service, our teams can provide an extended to support acute hospitals, and it frees up capacity in our Crisis Resolution Home Treatment services in particular which had been responding to out-of-hours requests from acute hospitals.'
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Duncan Edwards, from South Norfolk CCG, said: 'Our strategy is to ensure good care for people presenting with acute mental health problems wherever in Norfolk that is. We strongly support the mental health trust's plan to use this extra staffing in hospitals to free up mental health crisis team nurses to support more people in their own homes before they need to go to the emergency department.'
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