Patchwork Foundation Delegates at The Liberal Democrat Party Conference

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Whilst partaking in the 2016 Liberal Democrat Party Conference, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb took the time to meet with several young delegates from the Patchwork Foundation. 

The Patchwork Foundation aims to promote and encourage the positive integration of underrepresented, deprived and minority communities into British political society, ensuring that politics is made accessible for everyone.

Each year the Patchwork Foundation takes a select number of delegates to the Liberal Democrat Conference. The delegates get the opportunity to have a tour of conference, attend a master class from a senior official and attend the Leader's speech, with the aim of getting young people involved in the conference and to provide them with a better understanding of party politics.

During the Delegates visit to this years Brighton based conference, Norman Lamb took the time to meet with the delegates and show his support for Patchworks important mission to get young people involved with politics

 


Sheringham Woodfields School Playground Project

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On Friday the 9th of September, 2016, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb was proud to open the newly renovated playground at Sheringham Woodfields School, along with the schools Chair of Governors Carole Fields. 

 

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Norman Lamb Chosen To Run Again At Next Election

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North Norfolk Member of Parliament Norman Lamb has been backed to run again at the next General Election.

The Liberal Democrat MP has represented North Norfolk since 2001. At the election last year he finished more than 4,000 votes ahead of the Conservatives. He served as a minister in the coalition government and won a national reputation for his work to promote better mental health care.

A packed meeting of Liberal Democrat members backed him unanimously to be their local candidate at the next election. Mr Lamb told the meeting in Aylmerton that there was a greater need than ever for moderate, common sense voices to be heard in Parliament and politics.

"Jeremy Corbyn is dragging the Labour Party to the far left but it is really dangerous to have one party in power which is completely dominant. There is a massive risk of arrogance and complacency on the part of the Conservative Government. Those of us who care about delivering high quality, affordable public services and making sure that everyone's voice is heard need to work together to provide a common sense alternative." said Mr Lamb.

"It has been an unbelievable privilege to represent North Norfolk people in Parliament since 2001. It's a great honour to be chosen as Liberal Democrat candidate again. But in uncertain times I know local people need a strong and experienced voice in Parliament more than ever. I have just completed my annual 'village tour' of street corner advice surgeries and this year saw a record turn-out of people. They raised a huge range of issues with me from poor quality roads to our creaking health and care services,  worries about the challenges we face following Brexit and much more. 

"I am looking forward to continuing my work for North Norfolk and on vital issues like finding a sustainable future for the health and care services we all rely on."

HSBC Closure Blow

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HSBC should rethink its plan to close its branch in North Walsham according to local MP Norman Lamb.

HSBC has announced it plans to close the branch at the end of November. Losing the bank from such an important site in the Market Place could be a real blow to traders and customers in the town.

“I want HSBC chiefs in London to explain themselves and to think again. We need to keep our high streets alive!” says Mr Lamb.

Are you affected by the closure? Get in touch!


Job Vacancy: Senior Caseworker

Job Title: Senior Caseworker

Working For: Norman Lamb MP (North Norfolk)

Location: Constituency office, North Walsham

Salary: In line with IPSA pay scales

 

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Norman Lamb attends Trunchonbury Festival Launch Party

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, was making the most of the Bank Holiday Weekend this Sunday evening (28th August) as he visited Trunchonbury Festival 2017's launch party to wish organisers good luck with their preparations.

Held at MADRA (Mundesley and District Recreational Association) Sports and Social Club on Hall Lane, Knapton, the event was held to celebrate the fact that it was almost exactly a year until the start of the next festival, due to be held between 25thand 27th August 2017.

There was a bbq and bar provided for guests as live music from Ace, Al Sharpe and the Jackthehouse crew accompanied the evening's festivities with organisers and people from the local community getting together to discuss Trunchonbury 2017 and share ideas for the upcoming festival.

Speaking after the launch party Norman said: “It was great to see the enthusiasm from the organisers and locals about next year's festival; they already have massive plans in store and I am confident that this festival will be better than the ones that have come before it."

“This is the fourth time that the Trunchonbury Festival has been held and my wife Mary and I had a fantastic time when we came to the last one in 2014."

“That time it was held on the Paddock in Trunch, but it is great to see that this festival has continued to grow and now needs to move to a bigger area to put on everything they want."

“They can now entertain a greater number of festival goers, providing a memorable experience for many local people, and raise even more money for good causes than they managed to do before."

“I am certainly excited to see how Trunchonbury 2017 progresses as the last one was so enjoyable and I have already started looking in my diary to make sure I am free.”

Trunchonbury Festival started back in 2005 with modest beginnings when just a handful of friends enjoyed camping and dancing in a private garden, but has since grown with each new edition. For next year's event the festival has been moved to a much larger 20 acre site, MADRA on Hall Lane, in Knapton Village, and will be able to host more stalls, more camping, more facilities and more music and entertainment acts than ever before.

The expanded size of Trunchonbury next year means that organisers believe they will be able to cater for five thousand people a day and can raise more money for their chosen charities, which will be Mundesley Inshore Lifeboat, Knapton Hall and MADRA Sports Ground.


Norfolk psychosis patients failed by NHS, Norman Lamb reveals

Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk, has exposed serious failings in the implementation of a flagship new policy to improve care for people with severe mental illness in Norfolk.

As Health Minister in the coalition government, Norman Lamb introduced new standards for Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) to guarantee that patients experiencing a first episode of psychosis should receive an specialist package of treatment within 2 weeks of being referred. This was an important step towards achieving equality for mental health, which was due to be rolled out to at least 50 per cent of patients by April 2016.

However, a Freedom of Information audit by Mr. Lamb shows that CCGs have only commissioned Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to provide an EIP service for people aged 14-35 this year, despite the new standard applying to people up to the age of 65. None of the CCGs in Norfolk were able to specify how much overall funding has been allocated for EIP in 2016/17, sparking concerns over a lack of robust commissioning of the service within the county.

There is also “limited provision” of the key skills needed to provide the full range of treatment which meets the national standard, including cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis, family interventions to support families and reduce rates of relapse, and specialist employment support which has been shown to improve recovery and reduce long-term costs to the NHS and welfare system. The Trust said it was “not possible to say when or if” it will be able to provide a service in line with NICE guidelines this year, even for the restricted cohort of patients who are offered EIP, and that further investment is required.

CCGs said that they hoped to extend EIP to an all-age service by March 2017 with an in-year amendment to the current contract – a whole year after the new standards came into effect.                      

The findings reflect a bleak national picture regarding the implementation of the new standards. Among the key findings of the Liberal Democrats’ national audit were:

  • A lack of robust commissioning of EIP, with many CCGs leaving it to trusts to deliver EIP within a block contract for mental health services;
  • Despite official guidance saying that the standard should apply to everyone from 14-65, almost a quarter of CCGs (23%) had only commissioned services for people up to the age of 35, while the same proportion of health trusts were only providing EIP for this age group;
  • A third of the CCGs (32%) who responded could not identify how much funding has been allocated to EIP in 2016/17;
  • Out of those CCGs and Mental Health Trusts who provided an estimate of their average investment per patient in EIP, this figure was £5,199 for CCGs and £5,085 for Mental Health Trusts. According to NHS England, the estimated annual cost of treatment in a fully-compliant EIP team is approximately £8,250 for each patient. This indicates that people are being let down with less than the full package of care; and
  • There is evidence of a widespread lack of training and skills mix to provide the full range of treatment which meets the national standard.

These findings come weeks after Theresa May acknowledged on her first day as Prime Minister that there is currently not enough support for people suffering from mental ill-health.  The Liberal Democrats are now seeking to hold Mrs. May to account to ensure that this rhetoric is translated into action, and that equality for mental health is at the heart of her Government’s priorities. Ensuring new standards to improve care are properly implemented is a vital step towards this. 

Commenting on these findings, Norman Lamb said:

“The half-hearted implementation of this standard in Norfolk and in many other parts of the country is nothing short of scandalous, and highlights the historic inequality between the way in which physical and mental ill health are treated in our NHS.

“It would rightly be seen as a national scandal if the NHS failed to provide the evidence-based treatment required in cancer, so why is it acceptable for people suffering psychosis? The negligent approach to delivering the new standards in mental health should be met with similar outrage.

“The variation around the country is extremely disappointing, but it also shows that failure is not inevitable. These new standards would change people’s lives and lead to significant savings for the NHS and benefits system. We know that for every £1 invested you can save £15 – yet in so many areas, they are falling short. It would be horrific and intolerable if this opportunity was missed.

“Genuine equality for mental health can only be achieved if the new standards for mental health are given the same level of political importance and public scrutiny as those in physical health. It is critical that NHS England and the Government learn the lessons of this flawed implementation, to ensure that other proposed treatment standards in mental health do not fail.”

 

Notes

 -              The annual cost of psychosis to society is estimated at £11.8bn due to healthcare costs, lost productivity due to unemployment or death, and the impact on families and carers. In the UK, only 8% of people with schizophrenia are in work, while people with severe and prolonged mental illness are at risk of dying on average 15 to 20 years earlier than other people.

-            There is strong evidence that the early provision of evidence-based specialist treatment has a significant impact on recovery, long-term quality of life, and the overall cost of care. EIP services significantly reduce the rate of relapse, mortality, and hospital admissions, while improving employment, education and wellbeing.  An analysis has shown that £15 is saved in the long-term for every £1 spent on early intervention (attributed to the reduction in use of crisis and inpatient services, and improved employment outcomes).  

-              A full Early Intervention in Psychosis service, delivered in accordance with NICE guidelines, will include psychological therapy; physical health assessments and wellbeing support (including support for healthy lifestyles and smoking cessation); employment, education and training support; and support, information and advice for families and carers. It involves an integrated team of psychiatrists, psychologists, education and employment specialists, and care co-ordinators who will typically be nurses, occupational therapists or social workers.


Norman Lamb's Village Tour schedule 2016

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My Annual village tour is taking place between the 26th August and the 2nd of September this year. This is always a great way for people to raise issues or problems with me - so if there are any matters you want to bring to my attention then do come along

No matter how big or small the issue is, if you want to raise it with me just turn up! 

Please see below my Tour dates for 2016                     

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Norman Lamb: Mental Health must be at the heart of Theresa May's agenda

This article was first published on www.WriteYou.co.uk

As she entered Number 10, Theresa May announced herself as a social reformer committed to tackling the inequalities and injustices that persist in Britain. 

This was a welcome statement of intent, albeit one that will be overshadowed by the Brexit negotiations and economic instability that look set to dominate the early part of her premiership.

Keeping unfashionable social issues high on the political agenda will be tough, and the record of the previous Conservative governments hardly inspires confidence. But if she really hopes to secure a legacy as a bold reformer and a champion for those left on the margins of society, May must succeed where her predecessor fell short by showing the drive and ambition to act on her promising early rhetoric around mental health.

The challenge was succinctly put on the steps of Downing Street: “If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand.”

Mental health has always been the ‘Cinderella service’ in the NHS, accounting for around 13% of NHS funding despite making up a quarter of the burden of illness. People with mental ill health do not enjoy the same rights of access to evidence-based treatment, close to home and on a timely basis, as those with physical conditions. All too often they are denied the treatment they need, or are shunted across the country in search of a hospital bed during a crisis.

The Liberal Democrats spearheaded a genuine momentum for change in the Coalition Government. One of my proudest moments as a minister was launching a new five-year blueprint for transforming mental health services for children and young people, backed by £1.25bn in funding.

We delivered a historic agreement on transforming mental health crisis care. And critically, we introduced the first ever access rights and maximum waiting time standards in mental health, guaranteeing fast access to effective treatment for people with common mental health conditions and psychosis.

The mission to achieve genuine equality for mental health was taking shape, and David Cameron’s majority Conservative Government had a solid platform to build on. But he depressingly failed to continue this progress – and indeed, the momentum has stalled more dramatically than most of us anticipated.

Promised investment in children’s mental health care failed to materialise in the scale promised. The scandal of sending people long distances from home to receive treatment is as widespread as ever. In February, the Mental Health Taskforce delivered a landmark strategy for ending the historic discrimination against people with mental health in the NHS; five months on, the Government has still not set out how it intends to ensure that this vision becomes reality.

Most outrageous of all, there is evidence of a failure to properly implement the flagship new access standards in mental health which came into force in April. In contrast, performance against key targets in the physical health system continues to be examined in forensic detail every week in the Department of Health.

Britain needs a Prime Minister who will place mental health at the heart of their agenda. For all his hollow rhetoric, mental health was never anything more than an afterthought for Cameron; and so my challenge to Theresa May is to seize the initiative and make this a key priority for her government.

We cannot afford to let mental health get drowned out by Brexit and the wider chaos that has engulfed our political system. If the moral case for action is not compelling enough, then the estimated £105bn annual economic cost of mental illness will surely be a test of the pragmatism so often celebrated by May’s colleagues.

Her maiden comments as PM hit the right note as she identified poor mental health care as a leading social malaise. While it remains to be seen whether she lives up to the weight of expectation that will now follow, some have already suggested that she will pursue her priorities with greater resolve than her predecessor – giving pride of place to policy rather than PR, substance over style. It’s the sort of gritty determination that the mental health community could welcome after a year of inertia from Whitehall.

May has a historic opportunity to be remembered as the Prime Minister who made a profound difference to the lives of the one in four people who will suffer from a mental illness. Let’s hope she doesn’t squander it.


Norman Lamb: Government must guarantee EU citizens' right to stay

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk has challenged the Government to guarantee the right of the 110,000 EU nationals working in the NHS and social care system to remain in the UK.

The Government has so far refused to guarantee the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK following the decision to leave the European Union, with the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond stating that any guarantee would have to be negotiated in Brexit talks as part of a deal for Britons living abroad. 

Speaking at Health Questions in the House of Commons (5th July), Norman Lamb spoke out in support of EU migrants working in the health and care system, and attacked “the despicable suggestion that they should be used as a bargaining pawn in negotiations with the EU”.

The Lib Dem Health Spokesperson challenged the Health Secretary to work with the Government urgently to secure the right of EU citizens to remain in the UK. However, Jeremy Hunt fell short of any such commitment, and could only offer vague assurances that the Government “wants to find a way” of allowing them to stay in the UK for as long as they wish.

Speaking afterwards, Norman Lamb said: “It’s important that we recognise and pay tribute to the dedicated staff from across the EU, and indeed the rest of the world, who play an essential role in our NHS and social care services.

“Our entire health and care system would be brought to the point of collapse if hardworking EU citizens were forced to return to their native countries – and it would be a travesty if they were made to feel so unwelcome in the UK that they decided to leave of their own accord. 

“Britain is the home of everybody who was living and working here on June 23rd.  It should be their fundamental right to stay in this country, and I’m horrified that the Conservative Government doesn’t seem to share this view. The Liberal Democrats will continue to speak out to defend the rights of EU migrants living in the UK, so that they can continue to enrich our society and carry on making an invaluable contribution to our public services.”

 

The full exchange in the House of Commons is below:

Norman Lamb MP: Very many of those 110,000 people are now acutely anxious about their future in this country, because of the despicable suggestion that they should be used as a bargaining pawn in negotiations with the EU. Will the Secretary of State ensure that the Government, as a matter of urgency, guarantee their future in this country doing their dedicated work in our NHS and care system?

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP: I can reassure the right hon. Gentleman that we are incredibly aware of the brilliant work that EU nationals do, not just in the NHS but in the social care system, which he was responsible for, in care homes up and down the country. We recognise that, and I hope that he will be reassured by statements made by the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary yesterday that we want to find a way of allowing those people to stay in the UK for as long as they wish to. We recognise the incredibly valuable contribution that they make, and we are confident in the negotiations ahead that we will be able to secure the outcome that they and we all want.


Cap on care costs

Cap on care costs

As Care Minister I secured a commitment to deliver reform of our unfair care funding system. The reforms would have made sure people didn't have to sell their house in their lifetime to pay for care, and that far more people would get some financial help towards their care. The Tories have now said the reforms will not be introduced next year as planned. Will you sign my petition to demand they honour their commitment?