People in east and west Suffolk have been working together in recent years to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing care and learning disability and autism services.
Those discussions – which have involved service users, carers, education leads, GPs and mental health experts – have helped develop changes that we think will make things better. We hope these proposed changes will mean that people in east and west Suffolk will be able to get the help and support in the right place for them, when they need it, to stay mentally and emotionally well.
This is built on the long-term strategy which was developed during 2018 and involved more than 4,000 service users, carers and people who work in healthcare, social care and education. These discussions have continued and they are called #AVeryDifferentConversation.
Now, we are asking you to check these plans. We want to know if you think we have got things right. We would love it if you took a few minutes to let us know.
Visit this website between 14 September and 30 October to learn more about our plans and add your voice to the conversation by filling in the survey.
Partners involved in this are Suffolk User Forum, Suffolk Parent Carer Network, Suffolk Family Carers, Suffolk County Council, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, West Suffolk Foundation Trust, Suffolk GP Federation, the two clinical commissioning groups and East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust.
Dr Rosalind Tandy, a GP in Bury St Edmunds and mental health lead for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “These plans have been created through feedback, conversations and meetings with thousands of local service users and their carers, staff and partner organisations.
“It’s a huge and all-encompassing piece of work that rightly needs to be done to make sure everyone can access the mental health support they need.
“We really need people to tell us what they think of these plans so we can confidently move on to the next stage of implementation.”
Dr John Hague, mental health lead for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is incredibly exciting we have reached this stage of #AVeryDifferentConversation and I remain optimistic for the future of mental health and wellbeing services across the patch.
“When this project began two years ago no one could have foreseen where the world would be right now. But coronavirus has certainly further highlighted just how important mental health support services really are.
“I encourage people to take some time to look at these plans. It’s important we get this right so people’s feedback is very much sought.”
Stuart Richardson, chief operating officer for NSFT, said: “We have already seen some great changes in improving people’s care, with the new 24/7 First Response Service, a greater offer from the mental health wellbeing services and trialling new community services. There is plenty more to do – which is why we need to ask people their thoughts on these latest proposals. Please do get involved.”
Cllr Tony Goldson, Chairman of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “The feedback from service users and partners through #AVeryDifferentConversation has helped to develop plans to improve mental health services for Suffolk people.
“We now need your help, please do take some time to look at these proposals, your feedback will help to make sure everyone can get the mental health support they need.”