North Walsham man forced to take seven months off work blames mental health service

Glenn Burrows of North Walsham got great help in 2012 with his mental breakdown but after his second

Glenn Burrows of North Walsham got great help in 2012 with his mental breakdown but after his second he hardly got any due to budget cuts.Picture: Mark Bullimore

A man battling depression claims the standard of mental health care offered by the NHS in Norfolk has declined over the past three years.

Glenn Burrows of North Walsham got great help in 2012 with his mental breakdown but after his second

Glenn Burrows of North Walsham got great help in 2012 with his mental breakdown but after his second he hardly got any due to budget cuts. Picture: Mark Bullimore

A man battling depression claims the standard of mental health care offered by the NHS in Norfolk has declined over the past three years.

Care minister Norman Lamb said the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust was 'dysfunctional', and said the case of North Walsham man Glenn Burrows highlighted its failings.

Mr Burrows, 30, suffered a breakdown in 2012, and said he received excellent care, and was offered a bed in Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich to aid his recovery.

But during a similar experience last January, he said the only mental health beds available were in Cambridge or London, and said he had to fight for daily visits from a health worker.


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But the trust, which is responsible for mental health care, said it had introduced measures to reduce the number of patients placed in out of area beds.

Ian Young, associate director of specialist services at the trust, said: 'Last year we also recognised the pressures and demands on our community teams and therefore carried out a reorganisation of the Central Norfolk Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team (CRHT), which has resulted in an increase in the number of staff and, we feel, an improved service which we hope goes some way to address these types of concerns.'

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This week the trust announced a new wellbeing service, which will cost £10m a year, providing counselling for people suffering from low-level depression and anxiety.

But Mr Burrows said he was forced to take seven months off from his job as a shop worker last year as a result of missed home visits, and the lack of nearby beds. He said he felt the lack of beds in Hellesdon Hospital hindered his recovery.

He said the CRHT, which was meant to visit him daily, often missed appointments. He added: 'I kept getting phone calls to say they couldn't make it. They were open when they did come round, and said they had more patients but fewer staff.'

Mr Lamb said: 'His situation has been made worse by the performance of the mental health trust. It has not been good enough.

'I have been clear that mental health needs more resources.

'We have secured £250m a year extra for children and young people's mental health services. We want a similar amount for adults.'

He added that mental health should be treated in the same way as physical health.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust was placed into special measures last month.

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