New mental health leader in Suffolk hopes partnership working can benefit service users

NSFT's new interim deputy director of operations in Suffolk, Pat Long, outside Mariner House in Hand

NSFT's new interim deputy director of operations in Suffolk, Pat Long, outside Mariner House in Handford Road, Ipswich Picture: PAGEPIX LTD/NSFT - Credit: Pagepx

A trained nurse who was appointed to lead Suffolk mental health services has told of her ambitions to deliver quality care.

Pat Long, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s new interim deputy director of operations, said her role will focus on “ensuring we provide great mental health services”.

Mrs Long began her career at hospitals, specialising in coronary care and orthopaedics, and has since gained mental health experience with charities, including Look Ahead Care and Support in London.

“The role with NSFT appealed to me as mental health sits very close to my heart,” said Mrs Long.

“I also live in Norfolk so have an interest in local healthcare services.

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“While at Look Ahead, I worked very closely with the NHS to integrate services and create some very innovative models of care for people facing mental ill health, which included running crisis houses and other initiatives to facilitate early discharge. This showed the quality of what can be achieved when working in partnership and I will be thinking about how I can use that experience to benefit service users in Suffolk.

“I am already proud to be part of NSFT. There are some amazing things taking place at the Trust and things will become even more exciting as we work towards achieving further improvements.

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“My role will focus on ensuring we provide great mental health services which meet the needs of local people and tie in with the Government’s prevention and early discharge agendas. I also feel it’s important to keep the mental health debate alive with the public so that we can achieve parity of esteem and make sure as much importance is placed on both mental and physical health.

“A lot of my work will also involve talking to our staff, listening to their ideas and understanding any challenges they face. I am also extremely keen to make sure that we do not lose sight of all of the good work which takes place within our services every day, and that we continue to celebrate and share those areas of best practice.”

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