NHS bosses agree to meet charity to discuss saving Norfolk’s mental health phoneline

Two years of Norwich for Jobs. Norwich North M.P Chloe Smith with Jamie Ralph. Photo: Steve Adams

Two years of Norwich for Jobs. Norwich North M.P Chloe Smith with Jamie Ralph. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

A Norwich MP insists 'some progress' has been made in the battle to save a vital mental health support line after health bosses agreed to meet the charity which runs the threatened service.

The mental health support line run by the Norwich and Central Norfolk branch of the charity Mind takes some 800 calls a month from people all over the county who are suffering in crisis.

Yet despite costing just £10,000 a month to run, the powers-that-be have decided the life-saving service does not warrant the funding beyond the end of this month.

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith yesterday met bosses of the Norwich and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to discuss the support line which the EDP and its sister paper the Norwich Evening News are trying to help save through our We Mind campaign.

She said: 'There is an important service that's provided by having a helpline and my priority would be to see that kind of service continue to be there for people.

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'I used the meeting to explain what my constituents have told me and what people feel is important about the service.

'I asked the CCG to meet the mental health trust (NSFT) and Mind to go over the situation in detail. It's clear that it needs everyone around one table to discuss the way forward. I was very clear that needs to happen and it needs to happen soon.'

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The MP said 'some progress' had been made after it was agreed the parties involved would meet in the near future.

A spokesman for the CCGs described it as a 'constructive meeting during which the MIND helpline was discussed'. He said: 'It was agreed the CCGs, NSFT and MIND should meet together soon to discuss the issue further.'

Have you used the service and want to back our campaign? Email david.powles@archant.co.uk

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