MP wants health body to reverse decision to axe south Norfolk nursing service

MP for mid Norfolk, George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

MP for mid Norfolk, George Freeman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

George Freeman, the MP for Mid Norfolk, has called on health chiefs to reconsider their decision to scrap a valued service which supports people living with dementia.

George Freeman, the MP for Mid Norfolk, has called on health chiefs to reconsider their decision to scrap a valued service which supports people living with dementia.

He sent a letter to the chief officer of the South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) after it was announced that the South Norfolk admiral nursing service will be axed.

Mr Freeman said he had been contacted by a number of concerned constituents and he was writing to show his concern for 'both the decision and the last-minute manner in which it has been made'.

He also stated mental health and dementia services have been overlooked as the 'Cinderella of healthcare provision' for far too long.


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The service was axed after the CCG was unable to finalise a deal with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) – because bosses felt they could not afford the £153,000 annual cost.

However, Mr Freeman has argued the service is good value for money on the front line.

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He said: 'As we all know, lack of community facilities has been the major cause of over hospitalisation that is burdening the NHS with so much avoidable cost – this investment of community support will surely pay for itself many times over in saved hospital costs'.

The decision to decommission the admiral nurse service, the only of its kind in the county, came two months after the CCG said the service would continue to be delivered for the foreseeable future.

Mr Freeman, who has worked in biomedical science, said in his letter he found the short notice about the decision 'difficult to accept' and said patients and their volunteer carers 'need and deserve notice and time to adjust to and make new arrangements'.

Trevor Brown, president of the Wymondham Dementia Support Group, said: 'George has always supported our dementia cafe and the work we have done locally.

'We are very pleased he has picked it up for us.

'It is devastating. If the decision is not reversed, those families are going to be left without support. There is a tremendous amount of worry and anxiety among the carers.'

Antek Lejk, chief officer of South Norfolk CCG, said he knew the decision must be disappointing but said the service could not be afforded.

He said: 'In the current climate we have reluctantly concluded there is no other realistic option.'

Mr Freeman said he hoped he would not have to raise the issue in the House of Commons.

A workshop will be held on October 27 at the Willows Centre, Cringleford, from 12pm to 2pm to discuss the outcome of the decision.

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