People in Lowestoft and Waveney are being urged to show their opposition to proposed huge cuts to local mental health services at Carlton Court hospital by attending a protest rally before the Health East Consultation Meeting on February 13that the United Reformed Church, London Road North, Lowestoft. People are asked to turn up at 5.30pm.
Bob Blizzard, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Waveney, said:
“These plans are fundamentally flawed. They want to cut the number of in-patient beds when the current numbers have been shown time and time again to be inadequate to meet patient need. Patients are having to be sent out of area, accommodated in expensive private beds, or sometimes just turned away.
“Since I exposed these plans 15 months ago, I have been contacted by patients and family members and told of case after case where patients have suffered. One Lowestoft man, who was referred for urgent help by his GP, was denied a bed and told they were all full. Tragically he committed suicide a few days later. Only 10 days ago a severely ill and dangerous patient could not be accommodated anywhere in Suffolk or Norfolk and was sent to Harlow at a cost of £650 a day with a £600 cost for secure transport.
“The Trust always said the need for acute beds would decrease, but their own staff are seeing no evidence of this. This is all about complying with David Cameron’s demand for a 20% budget reduction to meet his economic plan.
“Wards for elderly people and the day centre have already been closed at Carlton Court. If more cuts go ahead, there will be little left and a very new, state of the art hospital will go to waste. It’s a scandal.”