Working to secure better mental health services for patients and their families in Norfolk and Suffolk, Dr Dan has secured an urgent debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday 2nd May, calling on the Government to provide greater support for mental health funding across Norfolk and Suffolk.
As someone who works in the NHS as a mental health doctor, Dr Dan has first-hand experience of the challenges faced by staff and patients on a daily basis. This is why he has called for an urgent debate, pressing the Government for greater support in making improvements to local patient services in Norfolk and Suffolk in order to deliver high quality mental health services, and to ensure that sufficient staff are trained and recruited to both medical and nursing roles. Dr Dan will also be highlighting the need for greater communication between the NHS and local councils to ensure closer working and enhanced delivery of services for patients, particularly for those with complex care needs.
Mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk have been under-funded for decades and many of the challenges faced by the Trust are compounded by that lack of funding. Extra money which has been allocated by the Government specifically for mental health services has been redirected into local councils and the acute physical health sector to help overcrowded A&E departments attempt to meet their waiting targets. This has been to the detriment of the provision of mental health services in the area.
Despite its best efforts, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust has also been hampered by worsening recruitment problems. Capacity to recruit trained professionals in the East of England is particularly challenging, compared to the rest of the country. The East of England has the lowest number of Consultant Psychiatrists per head of population, compared to anywhere else in England. It is incredibly difficult to transform and improve quality of care without a qualified workforce to deliver it.
Dr Dan is a longstanding supporter of the Trust and although there are current issues with lack of capacity and staffing difficulties, he believes that with further support from the Government, the team at the Trust can make improvements for the benefit of patients.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Dr Dan said "I am delighted to have secured this important debate in the House of Commons to highlight the challenges currently faced by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and the patients that it cares for. I am hopeful that with Government backing, the Trust can transform services and deliver the high quality mental health services that local patients and their families need and deserve."
He continued "I also want to see greater joined up thinking and communications between the NHS and our local councils and the Police, which will help to deliver financial savings that can be put straight back into frontline patient care, whilst at the same time also improving outcomes for patients and their families here in Suffolk."
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Upcoming Business – Commons: Main Chamber (11 Dec 2018)
Private parking enforcement at commercial ports and trading estates – Daniel Poulter. Adjournment debate
Written Answers — Department of Health and Social Care: General Practitioners: Recruitment (7 Dec 2018)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase the number of full-time equivalent GPs in England; and will he make a statement.