More clinical staff to be hired by mental health trust after rise in funding

Mental Health. Pictured: A doctor and couple discuss depression. Picture: Time to change/Newscast O

Mental Health. Pictured: A doctor and couple discuss depression. Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online - Credit: Time to change/Newscast Online

The region's mental health trust has been given a multi-million pound cash injection by health bosses.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has seen increased funding from the region's clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) totalling nearly £6m.

Former health minister Norman Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk, welcomed the growth in funding but said more needed to be done to ensure mental health was funded equally with physical health.

NSFT is currently being inspected by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC), whose findings could lift the trust out of special measures.

The trust had been rated 'inadequate' by the CQC in February last year.

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After agreeing its contracts with the CCGs, NSFT has been given an increase of £5.9m for the financial year of 2016/17.

Part of that total is extra money granted to improve the trust's Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

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A spokesman for the trust added: 'We have an additional annually recurring £2.6m for inpatient staff and £950,000 for community staff throughout the trust.

'We are delighted to have won new contracts for the Wellbeing Service in both Norfolk and Suffolk which means there is security for our staff and further improved local services.'

The trust has previously cut several hundred jobs as part of a 'radical redesign' in a bid to save money, but the spokesman confirmed that NSFT planned to keep its overall workforce 'largely stable'.

Mr Lamb said: 'The increase in funds is welcome news.

'However it does not address the scale of the under-funding which mental health suffers from within the system.

'There is still a need for additional investment, particularly in CAMHS.'

Mr Lamb said more funding needed to be provided nationally for mental health trusts across the country to hit mental health waiting time targets such as the two-week wait for psychosis patients.

The CQC will complete its inspection of NSFT later this week.

Its report will be published in the autumn.

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