Are mental health services in the East improving?

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Mental Health Trust for Norfolk and Suffolk became the first in England to be placed in special measures in February 2015.

Over the past four years it's made savings of £44 million pounds with a further 36 million pounds of savings to come and many patients say they're missing the vital services they once relied on.

Sophie Liddament’s friend in Norfolk was eventually admitted to hospital for treatment but she says it took five suicide attempts in one week to get her there.

Anne Humphrys who lives in Suffolk with her teenage daughter who has a complex mental health issue also describes a lack of support for her and their family, having to turn to A&E at her local hospital, for help due to what she describes as inadequate community-based services.

Anne Humphrys has a daughter with complex mental health issues Credit: ITV News Anglia

Campaigners claim there continues to be a bed shortage, although the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust says it has reduced the number of patients being sent out of the area for treatment in the last year.

There was more bad news for the Trust at the beginning of the year when it was reported they had the highest number of unexpected deaths in the country. An investigation into those figures will report back in May.

Terry Skyrme, Mental health campaigner Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust says it has spent the last year laying the foundations for a new and safe service.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Credit: ITV News Anglia

NHS England announced at the end of last year that there will be extra funding to help young people with mental health problems. Norfolk and Waveney will receive an additional £1.9m every year for child and adolescent mental health services. Young people in Southend, Essex and Thurrock will benefit from an extra £3.3 million per year and in East and West Suffolk they’ll have an extra £6 million over the next five years.

If you need support and advice urgently but are not a Trust service user you can call:

Samaritans 08457 90 90 90

ChildLine 0800 1111

More information can be found at:

Sophie Liddament's mental health campaign can be found at Facebook