New project offers extra support for mental health patients in Norwich area

Mental health chiefs have launched a new project aimed at preventing unnecessary hospital admissions in the Norwich area.

Officials from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) have joined forces with charity Julian Support to give vital support to people at risk of being admitted to an inpatient bed or is being discharged from hospital.

The six month pilot started at the end of June to provide extra social, emotional and practical support.

The service aims to help patients with housing issues and domestic budgeting, assisting with day to day chores, enrolling service users in community groups, helping them to use local transport and community facilities, and accompanying them on appointments to see their GP, dentist and other health care professionals.

Debbie White, director of operations for Norfolk at NSFT, said: 'This pilot is good news for those of our patients who need some short-term social or pastoral support at home. We very much hope the work we are doing with Julian Support will help keep people at home and avoid the need to be admitted for non-clinical reasons.'

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The interventions, provided by Julian Support, are short-term and usually last up to two weeks to prevent admission or up to six weeks to support patients who have just left hospital. In Norwich, the charity is delivering up to 80 hours of interventions a week.

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