mental health support

Millions of pounds of investment into mental health support and care – and some major improvements in services – have been announced in Norfolk and Waveney.

It’s all aimed at helping people to prevent mental ill health, or to bolster support that is available when people do suffer an illness.

There will be more money for crisis services for adults, more staff in acute (physical health) hospitals and more staff who specialise in helping children and young people, plus workforce training to support staff and enhance their skills.

Dr Tony Palframan chairs the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership (STP) Mental Health Forum. He said: “This is great news for service users, families and carers in Norfolk and Waveney.

“Earlier this year we launched our new Norfolk and Waveney strategies for both adults’ and children’s mental health, and we are working alongside service users to deliver them. These announcements demonstrate we are beginning to make real progress.”

Jonathan Warren, Chief Executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), said: “We welcome this additional investment in mental health services in Norfolk and Waveney.

“We are working with our staff, service users, carers and families and other partners, such as GPs, commissioners, local authorities and the voluntary sector, to prevent mental ill health from developing in the first place and to provide effective early intervention when it does.”


Children’s and Young People’s Services

Norfolk and Waveney has been awarded in excess of £700,000 in funding for four important areas of development for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing support. This extra funding complements changes we are making across our system to the way we support the mental health and wellbeing of 0 to 25 year olds:

Four new Children & Young People’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CWPs), to add to the existing two cohorts of CWPs in our system

Trailblazer funding from NHS England for two Mental Health Support Teams to provide enhanced targeted support to CYP, families and staff in education settings.

The University of East Anglia submitted a successful bid to deliver accredited training for eight new Emotional Mental Health Practitioners who will be recruited to the two Mental Health Support Teams. This enables specialist training to be delivered locally and build local training capacity.

Development funding to work up a larger bid to embed trauma informed practice across Norfolk & Waveney

These announcements are in addition to the ongoing development of a new system wide framework and approach for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing support, which is currently being co-designed with the input from professionals, operational staff, system partners, children, young people and families.


Adult Mental Health Services

The Norfolk and Waveney’s Health and Care Partnership (STP) has won national funding to improve services and support the priorities established in Norfolk and Waveney’s Adult Mental Health Strategy, launched earlier in 2019. 

The funding will boost mental health services in the following areas:

Over £1.9m in 2019-21 to increase and bolster mental health liaison services at both the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust, bringing both hospitals in line with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to provide ‘Core 24’ standards for patients with mental health needs. Core 24 is a standard within hospitals dedicated to providing 24 hours, 7 days a week mental health support at hospitals by recruiting staff that are focused on a patient’s mental health needs – this can be a mix of liaison psychiatrists, mental health nurses, therapists and administrative staff.

£1.1m over two years to increase staffing levels across Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation NHS Trust’s Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Teams, focusing on developing 7-day, 24-hour provision across Norfolk and Waveney.

£540k over two years to develop a ‘Crisis House’ service located centrally in Norfolk, aimed at enabling people to access support to prevent a mental health hospital admission and support a rapid return to their everyday living. This project is being prioritised to ensure a Crisis House can be established and start benefitting local people rapidly. (This is in addition to the Community Wellbeing Hub being planned at Churchman House in Norwich, expected to open in 2020.)

£177k of non-recurrent funding in 19-20 to further develop perinatal mental health services locally, building on the Community Perinatal Mental Health Service launched in 2017. The funding will focus on developing a cross-agency triage system to stream patients into appropriate mental health services that meet their needs, as well as continuing outreach work through local partners Get Me Out The Four Walls.

NSFT has also reopened Yare Ward at its Hellesdon site, a 16-bed acute ward that will be used as an assessment and inpatient unit, and allow patients to receive care closer to their homes and families.

Beds on Yare are being opened gradually to allow staff to get up to speed, and it is expected to have all 16 in operation very soon. The new team supporting the ward includes a psychiatrist, junior doctor, ward manager, nurses, assistant practitioners, clinical support workers, an art therapist, activity co-ordinator and occupational therapist. They also have a discharge co-ordinator working with them, which will speed up assessments so service users get the treatment they need as soon as possible.

Local NHS commissioners will continue to fund these developments after the funding from NHS England has been spent.


New Personality Disorder pathway

Intensive training is also underway at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to facilitate the roll-out of the personality disorder pathway across Central Norfolk from October onwards. This is the result of the development of NSFT’s personality disorder strategy and working with commissioners to implement a pathway for people with personality problems locally. Mental health commissioners have agreed an investment of just over £800,000 to develop a pathway, initially covering the Central Norfolk area. Early implementation will take place principally in Norwich and will involve NSFT’s three city community mental health teams, Central Norfolk CRHT, and Thurne Ward and Waveney Ward at Hellesdon Hospital.

Editorial by Tim Curtis [email protected]

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