March 1 2015 Latest news:
Adam Gretton, Health correspondent
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
A GP-led group will make its decision on mental health bed cuts proposals in the autumn after a consultation in Great Yarmouth and Waveney attracted more than 1,000 responses.
A 12-week public consultation over Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) proposals to reduce 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 came to an end last week.
The consultation also asked for people’s views on whether to close 12 dementia assessment beds at Larkspur Ward and 12 older people’s beds at Laurel Ward, both in Carlton Court, Carlton Colville - despite the two wards already being mothballed.
Officials from the mental health trust said the proposals aimed to deliver more care in people’s homes.
The consultation also included plans to develop a resource centre to provide information, advice and support to people with dementia and mental health problems and their families. This would include a dementia café in south Lowestoft and second information and resource centre in Great Yarmouth.
The three month consultation run by HealthEast - the Clinical Commissioning Group for Yarmouth and Waveney - closed on April 24, and attracted a total of 1,055 responses.
Rebecca Driver, director of engagement at HealthEast, said a final decision on the proposals was set to be made in September.
“We are really pleased that we received so many responses to this important consultation, and would like to thank everyone who took the time to come to our meetings, fill in our online survey or write to us with their views. We have now passed all of the responses we received onto an independent analyst who will evaluate them before reporting back to our governing body on 5 June.”
“As commissioners, it is important for us to fully understand the views of the people we serve so that we can shape the services we buy on their behalf to meet their needs.
“We will now take the time to examine the responses fully before making a final decision on the proposals later in the year.”
NSFT is trying to reduce its budget by 20pc by 2016, which has seen a reduction in bed numbers and staffing.