Norwich mental health services ranked among worst in country

Norwich mental health care needs to improve but local health chiefs disagree


NHS England has published for the first time figures ranking the performance of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across England. Unfortunately the Norwich CCG has been ranked among the lowest 21, who have been described as those who have the “greatest need for improvement”. Although the figures used only cover January to March of this year.

The Norwich CCG have disputed the findings, stating that mental health services are “considerably better than this data portrays”. The figures used to measure the performance of CCGs come from two sets of data, measuring early intervention in psychosis and improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) targets. Both these services are provided for by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) which is paid for by the the Norfolk CCG.

A Norwich CCG spokesperson has said that the data used to measure IAPT was not comparable to national datasets because Norfolk’s figures take into account patients who have more complex mental health issues, a view supported by NSFT.

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Nesta Reeve, clinical lead at NSFT, said: “Our service sees people with more serious levels of depression, perhaps even requiring hospital admission, rather than just those with moderate levels of depression”. Further adding that Norwich in particular has seen a higher number of admissions to IAPT than elsewhere with a greater number of complex patients.

NSFT has stated it is concerned with the lack of funding it has been given, Michael Scott, chief executive of NSFT stated; “We are concerned that insufficient funds have been allocated locally to enable us to deliver this important all-age service and to meet these National Institute if Clinical Excellence-compliant standards”.

Norwich CCG is not the only area in need of improvement, North Norfolk CCG and Great Yarmouth CCG are only one ranking above Norwich. However, South Norfolk CCG is performing well.