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Health chiefs still open to ideas on future of mental health services in Yarmouth and Waveney

PUBLISHED: 06:30 25 July 2014

Protest outside Carlton Court Hospital in Carlton Colville.
Organised by Bob Blizzard.

Picture: James Bass

Protest outside Carlton Court Hospital in Carlton Colville. Organised by Bob Blizzard. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2013

Health commissioners said they were still open to new ideas to shape the future of mental health services in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, three months after a consultation into bed cuts ended.

Officials from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) yesterday said that no decision had been made on Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) proposals to reduce acute and older people’s beds in the area.

Members of HealthEast’s governing body were told that more than 1,000 responses to a three month public consultation were still being analysed and that formal recommendations for mental health services in Yarmouth and Waveney would be put before a CCG meeting at the end of September.

Eighty percent of respondents were against a plan to reduce the number of acute beds at Northgate Hospital in Yarmouth and Carlton Court, near Lowestoft, from 28 to 20 and relocate onto one site. And 78.4pc of respondents were against the plans to close two older people’s and dementia wards at Carlton Court.

Andy Evans, chief executive of HealthEast, said that around a third of patients using beds in the area were not from Yarmouth and Waveney.

“We are really keen that we spend every pound we have on the people of Great Yarmouth and Waveney. We are flexible and we are encouraging people to come forward to give us new ideas. On September 25 we will formally present our commissioning intentions for mental health, which takes into account issues raised in the consultation,” he said.

The governing body was presented with HealthEast’s answers to the public questions about NSFT’s proposals, which revealed that the consultation cost £50,000. A report added that since the creation of a Dementia Intensive Support Team (DIST) to treat people in their own homes in the area, just 14 patients have been admitted to Blickling Ward in Norwich for assessment.

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