7 March 2023
Peter Aldous calls for lack of acute beds to be addressed as a priority

Peter Aldous makes an intervention in an Adjournment debate on the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to highlight the lack of acute beds in the region and the stress this causes patients and their families and calls on the Trust to address this as a priority.

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)

I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing the debate. He mentioned improvements on the acute wards, and I wanted to highlight that a recurring theme of my 13 years as an MP has been the lack of acute beds in the region, and how for so many people with real challenges beds have to be sourced out of region, which causes them a lot of stress and their families a great deal of anguish as well. I am aware that the trust has plans to address the deficit, but does he agree that this issue must be addressed as a high priority?

Dr Dan Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich) (Con)

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. He has been a strong advocate for patients in his constituency receiving the care they need locally, which is something we all want for mental health patients. The trust has identified that out-of-area placements have been a problem, which is now being addressed at board level and throughout all services. Part of that work will be about improving and developing the mental health estate, improving the in-patient facilities available locally in Norfolk and Suffolk, and part of it will be about transforming the model of care, moving away from inappropriate in-patient admissions where people can be better cared for in the community. I will return to that subject, but my hon. Friend is right to say that the trust must continue to focus on reducing out-of-area placement, which is not good for patients or for their families, who want to support them while they are being cared for in hospital.