Mental Health Services (Norfolk and Suffolk)

Part of Petition - Proposed Closure of Accrington Victoria NHS Walk-in Centre – in the House of Commons at 7:22 pm on 2nd May 2018.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich 7:22 pm, 2nd May 2018

I will make a bit of progress first and give way in two or three minutes.

The challenge from a lack of bed capacity is acute; 36 beds have been closed in recent months, 28 of them temporarily to be reopened as soon as possible. One of the challenges, as my constituency neighbour, Sandy Martin said, comes from the lack of joined-up working and a failure of commissioners, to some extent, to work collaboratively with the trust to identify short-term solutions. None of us wants to see patients travelling outside Suffolk. The commissioners have not worked well with the trust, because beds are available. My neighbour, my hon. Friend Jo Churchill, who is unable to speak because of her Government role, has rightly highlighted that bed capacity is available at the Chimneys in Bury St Edmunds—18 beds, including specialist eating disorder beds, which are available and could be commissioned if the commissioners worked more collaboratively and supported the leadership of the trust more effectively. I hope that will come out of the collaborative and pioneering work on which the trust’s partners are now supporting it.

None the less, there are some positive things to point towards. Building work is going on to deliver some new wards, and it is hoped that Lark ward in Ipswich, the psychiatric intensive care unit, will be able to reopen later this year. There are hopes that more can be done for child and adolescent mental health services, with continuing expansion in the number of beds.