Shameful Cuts To Mental Health Service

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Demonstrate, Thursday 25th September, Beccles.

Three public consultations about the future of mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk have taken place. In Lowestoft the mental health trust closed two wards and the day centre at Carlton Court Hospital before these had even begun. It is no wonder that one meeting voted overwhelmingly that the exercise was “a sham” and that the proposed cuts of £44m (20% of the budget) is already inadequate funding were overwhelmingly rejected by 78% of the respondents.

Nonetheless HealthEast’s proposed cuts to services, built up over the years and at a time when stresses and pressures of cuts and insecurity are creating more mental illness, are set to be rubber stamped when the clinical commissioning groups meets on Thursday 25th September, in Beccles.

It is believed that all the acute beds in Carlton Court will close as will the “mothballed” wards and day centre at Poppies. With units also left empty it looks likely that this purpose build hospital, much of it only six years old, is earmarked for closure.

What a shameful way to act. How can Andy Evans, Chief Executive of HealthEast, stand up and claim, as he will, that somehow it will all be OK? How can local GP’s who supposedly control HealthEast, condone it? Are there really too many beds? Below is a map of where patients from Norfolk and Suffolk ended up, away from home and from family and friends, on one day in April this year – because we had not beds for them.

This government is attacking us all: our pay, our conditions, our pensions and our services. It is softening us up for another war with more deaths and more destruction to come. In Brussels it is fighting tooth and nail to stop the tiny tax is proposed on City deals – the same City that caused the financial and economic crash which we are all being made to pay for. And it is cutting desperately needed beds and services for some of the most vulnerable in out society.

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THE REAL LIFE EFFECTS OF THE CUTS: A map showing the out-of-area placements for mental health patients from Norfolk and Suffolk (30 April, 2014) For more info on the campaign to defend local mental health services visit www.norfolksuffolkmentalhealthcrisis.org.uk

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