Improving the mental health service in Norfolk and Suffolk

Dandelion was invited to share views on the NSFT (Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust – NHS)  and how they can improve.
We said these things needed to change:
Referral times for children with additional needs – the referral and assessment times are excessively long – delaying early intervention and causing distress – to make this quicker…
Early Years professionals need to be able to make direct referrals for families and children – they see children day in, day out – their expertise and knowledge needs to trusted and accepted as valid – This will save time and be easier for families to access early support
Families with children with suspected addition needs, in-particular ASD, need clear signposting, support and advocacy, both short and long term
Money allocated for mental health support needs to be directed to Early Years settings where early identification and intervention is best provided – some settings will need the training to provide this and money will be needed to ensure this happens
Health visitors need to be more closely connected to Early Years settings
Systems need to be in place that allow multi-agencies – NHS and private, and charity organisations, access to information so that parents and carers don’t have to repeat their stories – this can be distressing and will save time
We also suggested that, in a perfect world, there would be a 4th emergency service, which would be solely for those in mental health crisis, and would include a mental health triage team and a separate A and E area at the NNUH – for too long those in crisis fall to the bottom of the priority list – just because their need is less visible doesn’t make emergency attention less of an urgent priority.
They were very responsive, we can but hope!!
Hayley and Emma xx