'Something needs to be done' - parents' call to action after Cromer mental health meeting
PUBLISHED: 11:20 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:20 04 December 2018
Bereaved parents highlighted a number of "vile and sad" suicides in Cromer following a meeting to discuss the mental health "crisis in north Norfolk and beyond".
Campaigners, an MP and concerned residents attended a “packed” meeting in Cromer on Friday, November 30, which organisers said was “prompted by a series of desperate tragedies”.
After the meeting at Cromer Methodist Church, which lasted more than two hours, the parents of Nyall Brown, who took his own life in May this year, spoke about a lack of mental health services.
Mearl Brown, Nyall’s father, said: “It’s a vile thing that’s happening after the sad events in the town.”
Tracey Brown, Nyall’s mother, said: “It would be nice to know something is going to be done.”
She added people at the meeting were talking about “things that were happening four years ago”, and said: “We can’t wait another four years. If we’re talking about it, something needs to be done.”
Speaking after the meeting, a spokesperson for the Save Mental Health Services campaign said there had been a “spate of deaths of people who should have been able to rely on mental health services in north Norfolk”.
He added: “[We] want to create a decent, humane mental health system in Norfolk and Suffolk.”
And North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said there were “concerns about services locally” and he was “constantly contacted by families who feel they’ve been let down”.
Commenting on the region’s mental health trust’s recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, Mr Lamb said he believed the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) had “reached the end of the road”.
He added: “Morale is at rock bottom; staff are in a bad state and require leadership and a fresh start.
“We now need to look at splitting up Norfolk from Suffolk”.
Antek Lejk, chief executive of NSFT, said: “We are disappointed with the CQC’s findings, but fully accept their report.
“Our priorities now will be to resolve ongoing issues around access to services, waiting lists, care planning and staffing levels, while also making sure we have the right systems in place to ensure patient safety at all times.
“We remain committed to making changes so our services provide safe, effective care for everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk.”
He added: “We are determined to get things right.”
The free Samaritans helpline can be accessed by calling 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.