The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation (NSFT) has been criticised in an episode of BBC Panorama called Revealed: Britain’s Mental Health Crisis.
The BBC followed reporter Sophie Hutchinson’s investigations into the troubled state of mental health services, showing concerns from local staff and patients over funding. In particular, the programme focused on figures revealing an increase in unexpected deaths.
The Health Education England (HEE) funded a program in the NSFT which trains 47 UEA medical students. However, the number was recently reduced to 27 due to a £176,000 reduction in funding.
Norwich South MP Clive Lewis issued a statement regarding the trust following the episode’s broadcast on February 6th.
Lewis said: “Enough is enough, no more spin, [no more] broken promises.” He noted figures showing that the number of people dying under NSFT care has doubled over the course of four years, and the cutting of 130 beds.
The NSFT has been accused of staff inexperience and a lack of necessary facilities in recent years. Lewis said, “Even at their last inspection, the Care Quality Commission gave the Trust the lowest possible rating for being a ‘safe’ service.”
The programme comes one month after Prime Minister Theresa May promised to “transform the way we deal with mental health problems right across society.” May’s statement inspired criticisms towards the lack of progress on NHS mental health care made by the government.
In 2013/14 there were 100 unexpected deaths per 100,000 service users and by 2015/16 the figure was 150 for every 100,000 patients.