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Partnership pledge to improve mental health care in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 18:46 05 August 2014 | UPDATED: 13:18 08 August 2014

Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett. Photo: Bill Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

Agencies across Norfolk have made a pledge to improve the standard of care for people in a mental health crisis after becoming the first county in the country to formally commit to a new government scheme.

Having demonstrated their commitment to the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, bosses from the police, ambulance service, county council, mental health trust, health commissioners, and charities have signed a declaration statement.

The pledge includes committing more mental health workers in the Norfolk Police control room and more staff for Section 136 suites, where people detained by police for mental health reasons are looked after.

The partners that have signed the concordat have also discussed pathways to ensure patients move out of acute mental health hospitals as quickly as possible when they are ready for discharge.

Stephen Bett, Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, said: “Norfolk’s declaration is the foundation upon which we will build our approach to improving outcomes for people experiencing mental health crisis, tailored to local need.

“It is a fundamental building block in the development of a comprehensive local action plan which will ensure the delivery of effective services to keep Norfolk safe and well.”

Norfolk’s declaration statement has been initially been signed by The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, Norfolk Police, North Norfolk CCG, Norfolk County Council, East of England Ambulance Service, Mind (Norwich and Central Norfolk), Norfolk Recovery Partnership, NHS England, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Healthwatch Norfolk.

Amanda Hedley, chief executive of Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind, added: “People who use our services, and other mental health services, consistently tell us of the gaps in crisis services - we are hopeful some good developments will come from this joined-up work.”

Norfolk MP, Norman Lamb, and care minister, said: “When someone is experiencing a mental health crisis, it is essential that they feel able to access the help they need – and quickly.

“I am determined that there must be effective mental health crisis support available when it is needed. The Crisis Care Concordat represents a shared commitment across our public services to address that imbalance, and ensure better care across the system to make a very real and positive difference to people’s lives.”

“I am absolutely delighted to see Norfolk leading the way nationally on such an important aspect of caring for people with mental health problems.”

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