More than 27 years of charity’s mental health support to come to an end with new Norfolk County Council contract

County councillor Bill Borrett. Picture: Matthew Usher.

County councillor Bill Borrett. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

More than 27 years of a charity's mental health services in Norfolk are to come to an end.

A new contract to deliver services for adults with mental ill health in the county has been brokered by Norfolk County Council.

But missing from the list of those who will provide the services was Julian Support, a mental health charity which has operated in Norfolk and Suffolk for more than a quarter of a century, as well as Stonham, part of Home Group.

Services affected include all of the charity's supported housing services, plus their personalisation service which offers choice and control over the shape of support.

Ben Curran, the charity's head of business development, said the organisation was 'very disappointed by the news'.

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The new contract, which will support more than 700 people, looks to focus more on rehabilitation and reablement.

And will be led by national mental health charity Together for Mental Wellbeing, in partnership with West Norfolk Mind, Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind, Great Yarmouth Mind, and St Martins Housing Trust.

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Between them they currently work with around three quarters of the people using the services included in the old contracts but have developed a completely new model of services based on input from service users and staff.

The new £2.85m contract will come into force from March 1, 2018. Over the next five months, arrangements will be made for packages of care to be maintained and transferred to the new service.

Bill Borrett, chairman of the council's adult social services committee said: 'This has been a great opportunity for us to re-focus the service so we are concentrating more on rehabilitation and reablement. We want to enable people to live well at home and regain their independence which the new service will achieve by joining up with services that already exist within local areas. We know that many people will live with their mental health condition for the rest of their lives, but with the right treatment and support we can reduce the impact their mental health condition has on their everyday life and support them to move them towards greater independence.'

Cashain David,director of operations and development for Together for Mental Wellbeing, added: 'We are very pleased to be continuing our support for people in Norfolk, building on the work we have done in the county over the past three and a half years. We will continue to work closely with Norfolk County Council and the CCGs to implement this new model of support. We are particularly looking forward to working with our new partners to continue supporting people to live as independently as possible in their local community, and to make the most of the community resources available in Norfolk.'

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