Mental health telephone helpline

An integrated telephone helpline for people with mental health conditions is being put in place from April.

The helpline will be operated by staff from Norwich MIND who will work increasingly closely with NSFT staff to ensure a joined up service.  

There are three helplines that existed prior to April 1st 2016:

  • A 24/7 helpline operated by NSFT’s Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team for patients who are most at risk and who are registered service users.
  • A telephone line which is part of the Wellbeing service Norfolk & Waveney for people with mild to moderate depression and anxieties. This is for registered Wellbeing service users.
  • A third helpline, run by Norwich MIND since January 2015 for people who are either in treatment with NSFT or within 1 year of discharge.

The solution agreed is to combine the Wellbeing service and Norwich MIND helplines, operating at hours when the existing helplines are busiest. This will be 4pm-midnight on Mondays-Fridays and 10am-midnight at weekends.

The new arrangement will start at the beginning of April 2016. Telephone numbers that service users have will remain for the moment.

This helpline will continue to serve people who are registered with the Wellbeing service, as before.

NSFT’s Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team’s 24/7 helpline for people in urgent crisis will also continue as before.

Sonja Chilvers, the Head of Recovery Services for Norwich MIND said: “We are pleased that a solution has been jointly agreed to enable us to continue to provide helpline services to people with all degrees of poor mental health.”

Antek Lejk, the Chief Officer of South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We are targeting our resources most effectively at those patients who need help at the times they most want. It is a sensible solution that has been brought about by collaborative working on the part of the CCGs, Norwich MIND and NSFT.”

Michael Scott, Chief Executive at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “By working closely together with the CCGs in Norfolk and Norwich MIND, I am delighted that we have found a way to continue providing this important mental health support service for people when they most need it.”

Choose the right NHS service over Easter

As the Easter bank holiday approaches, GPs in Norfolk are urging people to choose the right service for their needs and not to go to A&E unless they have a serious, or life threatening illness or injury.

Members of the public are advised to stock up their medicine cabinets, ensuring they have medication at home to deal with minor injuries and common ailments like coughs, sneezes, colds and upset stomachs.

If you suffer an illness or injury and you’re unsure where to go for the right treatment or if you need urgent medical advice, you can call NHS 111 free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pharmacists can help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries, and many are open until late and at weekends. For a list of pharmacies open over Easter please visit

  • Norwich Walk-in Centre is open as usual, 8.30am-7.30pm. 
  • Cromer Minor Injuries Unit is open 8.30am to 7.30pm

By helping people to choose the most appropriate service for their health needs we can reduce the pressure on the busy A&E department which helps us to see everyone more quickly. Please remember that A&E is for serious or life-threatening emergencies only.

Living healthily in midlife can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and beyond

ONEYOU LA DigitalAssets MPU AW 1dLatest figures show that life expectancy at older ages is at record levels, yet many are spending their retirement living in ill health. Currently fifteen million Britons are living with a long-term health condition, yet studies show living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70.

The new campaign from Public Health England will help adults in the east of England to move more, eat well, drink less and be smoke free. One You will also provide information on how people can reduce their stress levels and sleep better.

MIND helpline and NHS mental health spending

Clinical Commissioning Groupsin Norfolk are among the highest investors in mental health in England.

The NHS in Norfolk continues to invest in priority mental health services. However, there are many competing priorities for the money available.

The job of the county’s CCGs is to plan and buy services for everyone in Norfolk and this sometimes involves making difficult decisions to ensure the NHS budget is spent in the most effective way possible. This is at a time when the NHS is facing very significant financial challenges – nationally and locally (see below).

Dr Tony Palframan is a GP in Poringland and is a member of South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body. He said: “Mental Health Care in Norfolk has always been a high priority. We are working with the Mental Health Trust to develop care for patients with mental ill health that is of the highest quality”

Norwich CCG finances 2016-17

Norwich CCG has produced a bulletin which shows how challenging the financial situation is right now.

In 2016-17 the CCG will receive £7m more money to spend on local NHS care. This is more than taken up by the costs of increasing demand, population and national 'must-do' spending. We are also proud to be investing more money into the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service as we promised late last year.

But we must still make efficiency savings of £9.7 million - this is the difference between the budget we have and the cost of NHS care in Norwich in 2016-17.

pdf Read the full document  (222 KB)


111 and Out of Hours Service

NHS Norwich CCG today sets out an internal document following unannounced visits to the Norfolk and Wisbech Out of Hours primary care service. It has been made available at the CCG’s Governing Body meeting in public, which is the appropriate forum for quality matters are taken.

pdf Unannounced Visit IC24 111 OOH updated with comments (322 KB)

The CCG is releasing this internal document to assure members of the public that both the CCG and IC24 are aware of concerns, are dealing with them, making improvements and will continue to do so until the Out of Hours service meets the required standards.

Between November and today the CCG and IC24 have been working to investigate all of the issues raised, to understand what was substantiated and what was not substantiated. Improvements are being made where required.

Chief Nurse and Director of Quality at NHS Norwich CCG, Sheila Glenn, said: “The safety of patients is our paramount concern.

“The CCG is assured that IC24 is in the process of making the required improvements. It recognises these will take time, particularly when GP recruitment is such a difficulty. The CCG will continue to seek improvements to the service and is assured that IC24 is determined to deliver those improvements. The CCG is meeting weekly with IC24 to monitor the level of improvement and a senior CCG Governing Body GP and our quality clinical lead are working very closely with IC24 monitoring the progress of actions required.”

Dr Mark Reynolds, Medical Director for IC24 said, “IC24 provides a good service to over 6 million patients and we are committed to working closely with our commissioning bodies and GP colleagues to ensure that the service continues to improve for our patients.”