Saturday, 15 November 2014

The East Anglia Outrage - When will PEOPLE start to matter again?

This morning, we're stepping our of our area and we're going to take a look to the other end of the country from the North West and the absolutely appalling situation in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Colchester Hospital declares a major incident and it makes headline news.  50 mental health patients are sent out of area in a week and it's only worthy of  local news.

There are two article of interest on the BBC website on this story,

Jeremy Hunt is quoted in the above article:- "In June Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt criticised the "unacceptable" distances Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) patients had to travel for beds.

And yet, the DoH push ahead in their demand that the Trust cuts its budget by 40million.

Listen to the story from one of the Service users who was sent away from her home also quoted from the above article.

"No bed could be found in Norfolk and Suffolk, so a bed was found for her at a hospital in Nottingham. She said: "A private ambulance came at 10 o'clock at night to drive me to the hospital. My friends could not come and see me (because of the distance). My husband could not come and see me.  "In the end I discharged myself. I did not want to be so far away from home. "It made my recovery slower. It was detrimental to my health and my husband's."

Their campaign group and their service users say the same as ours.  That the cuts and the closure of beds is having a devastating effect on the people who need those services.

We know that feeling.  We know that it is devastating and harmful.

We MUST stop dismissing these issues as too "local". Until we take a joined up look at what is happening to mental health services across the country, people will continue to be harmed.

The cuts to Mental Health funding and the closure of psychiatric beds is endemic across the UK and hurting people with mental illness everywhere.  It has to change.

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