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Deadline nears for mental health consultation in Yarmouth and Waveney

PUBLISHED: 06:30 22 April 2014

Mental health staff and service users from Northgate Hospital (& TUC members) holding protest outside Kings Centre against proposed cuts to mental health beds

Mental health staff and service users from Northgate Hospital (& TUC members) holding protest outside Kings Centre against proposed cuts to mental health beds

People living in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are being urged to have their say on the future of mental health services in the area, before a consultation ends this week.

More than 400 responses have so far been sent to Clinical Commissioning Group HealthEast over Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s plans to reduce inpatient bed numbers in Yarmouth and Waveney.

A 12 week public consultation was launched in January over the mental health trust’s proposals to cut the number of adult acute beds at Northgate Hospital in Yarmouth and Carlton Court, near Lowestoft, from 28 to 20 and relocate onto one site.

People are also being asked their views on whether to close 12 dementia assessment beds at Larkspur Ward in Carlton Court and 12 older people’s beds for people with conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia at Laurel Ward, which is also at the Carlton Colville facility. However, it emerged during the consultation that the two wards had already been mothballed by the NHS trust, which is trying to reduce its budget by 20pc by 2016.

So far there have been 435 responses and the public consultation ends on Thursday.

Kim Arber, programme manager for mental health and learning disabilities at HealthEast, said: “We would urge anyone in Great Yarmouth and Waveney who has an interest in mental health services and hasn’t already responded to the consultation to take this last opportunity to give us their views on NSFT’s proposals. As commissioners, it is our duty to ask the people we serve for their opinions and give them the opportunity to make sure their voices are heard.

“Anyone who would still like to comment and help influence the shape of future services by sending us their comments online or writing to us before the consultation closes at 5pm on Thursday.”

The full consultation document and consultation feedback form are available at www.greatyarmouthandwaveneyccg.nhs.uk/FutureofMentalHealthServices.

People can also respond by emailing gywccg.your-views-matter@nhs.net or completing an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/FutureofMentalHealthServices

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