Success for mental health trust as all patients are treated in Norfolk and Suffolk during last ten days

Hellesdon Hospital, headquarters of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: James Bas

Hellesdon Hospital, headquarters of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

The region's mental health trust has managed to reduce the number of patients sent out of area for treatment down to nil for ten consecutive days.

Speaking at a meeting of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust yesterday, chief executive Michael Scott praised staff and said the trust remained committed to treating patients as close to home as possible.

He said: 'It's a great result.'

Previously the trust has had to send patients to other parts of the country due to a lack of beds in Norfolk and Suffolk.

That has cost the trust £2.6m so far this financial year.

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Some patients have to be sent out of area if they need specialist treatment.

Mr Scott also confirmed the trust has resolved its dispute with clinical commissioners in Norwich, North Norfolk, and South Norfolk, over the cost of sending patients to out-of-area beds.

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The trust and commissioners have agreed to sign a contract for the remainder of 2015/16, but there will be further discussions regarding the 2016/17 contract.

Meanwhile there is uncertainty surrounding the number of patients who receive follow-up checks by the trust after being discharged from wards.

According to new figures for July to September, the trust only managed to follow up 509 of 610 patients within seven days of their discharge.

That accounts for 83.4pc of all the patients, but the target is 95pc.

Two other patient-targets have also been missed, according to the figures.

But the trust believes it is hitting the targets, and that there is a problem with reporting the activity.

Jane Sayer, director of nursing at the trust, said this was caused by the implementation of the trust's new computer system, known as Lorenzo.

Lorenzo was introduced by the trust in May this year.

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