Mental health acute capacity review

An independent report exploring initiatives aimed at relieving the pressure on local mental health beds has been published in full.

The independent review was jointly commissioned by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS FT (NSFT) and the NHS clinical commissioning groups in Norfolk and Waveney in response to increasing demands on mental health services. This has resulted in some patients needing to be sent for inpatient care out of the local area at times of high pressure.

NSFT has made it a priority to reduce the number of out of area placements of its patients but as demand for all Trust services has increased - in 2015-16, NSFT saw 22,000 more patients than in 2012-13 - OOAs have also increased.

Advice clinics at the doctor's

Cotman Senior Support at the Doctors Team 1People over the age of 60 in Norwich who would like a little extra help with housing issues or their benefits are being invited to use an advice service based in two GP surgeries.

Cotman Housing Association is running a pilot scheme called “Senior Support at the doctors” from both Lionwood Surgery and St Stephens Gate surgery. Trained advisors are running clinics that people can just ‘walk in’ and ask about, make an appointment or be referred by their GP or nurse.

The sort of things they can help with include housing, adaptations at home to make everyday living easier and safer, advice on getting help at home, benefits, care alarms and making new friends or finding new things to do for a fulfilling life. The overall aim is to help people keep independent at home and reduce loneliness.

Special event asks “what can you do?”

People from across Norfolk and Waveney will be encouraged to plan for their future, speak openly to their loved ones about death and make dying well a natural part of a good life at a special event next week.

Taking place at The Forum in Norwich on Tuesday 9 May, the drop-in event has been organised to tie in with national Dying Matters awareness week, which this year has the theme “what can you do?”

Smokefree sidelines catching on at kids’ football pitches

Smokefree Sidelines logoA campaign to ban smoking on the sidelines at youth football matches is gaining ground.

So far, around a third of youth participants across the county have been directly impacted, with nearly 30 Norfolk clubs signing up to ‘Smokefree Sidelines’. Many more players and spectators have been aware of the initiative through playing away fixtures at Smokefree Sidelines clubs.

For health care over Easter

Patients are urged to help the NHS by using healthcare services wisely over the Easter weekend. Going to the right place for treatment or advice will mean everyone can get the help they need more quickly.

For minor inuries and illness, peope shoulf self-care at home using a well stocked first aid kit, containing antispetic cream, plasters and painkillers.

A wide range of healthcare advice on minor illnesses, infections, headaches, emergency contraception and coughs and colds, is also available from local pharmacists, many of which are open over the weekend.

If it is urgent but not an emergency you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the freephone number is manned by trained advisors who can offer advice or arrange for you to see a doctor or nurse if appropriate.

The NHS walk-in centre at Rouen House in Rouen Road, Norwich, is open between 7am and 9pm every day. A nurse-led centre, it can help with a range of issues, including minor cuts and wounds, strains and sprains, flu-like symptoms, skin complaints and stomach problems. You can simply walk in, without an appointment.

The Minor Injuries Unit based at Cromer is also open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm. Patients can turn up without an appointment and receive treatment for minor injuries such as minor wounds, burns or simple fractures.

Finally, anyone who needs a repeat prescription is being encouraged to order and collect it in advance of the bank holiday weekend. Pharmacies and NHS 111 can help with emergency prescriptions where necessary.

For a list of pharmacies in Norfolk which will be open over the Easter weekend, visit

Improved NHS veterans’ mental health services are now available across England

NHS TIL logo NHS Blue RGBIf you are experiencing mental health difficulties, new NHS services can provide a range of treatment and support, regardless of when you left the armed forces.  This includes recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early treatment and support, as well as therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma.  Patients are also provided with help, where appropriate, with employment, reduction in alcohol consumption, housing and social support.

To access these services, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • be a resident in England
  • have served in the UK armed forces for a full day
  • be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing to register with a GP
  • be able to provide your military service number or another form of acceptable proof of eligibility.

 If you meet these criteria, you can self-refer or request referral via a health care professional or service charity. 

Upon receipt of referral, you will be offered an initial face to face assessment within two weeks and where appropriate a first clinical appointment two weeks thereafter.  To find out more, speak to a health care professional or service charity or use the contact details here to get in contact with your local service.  pdf Veterans Mental Health TIL services brief LAUNCH April 2017 (118 KB)