Mental health care provided in Norfolk and Suffolk rated as one of the worst in England

Police release details of incident at the Fermoy Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Tuesday. ENGANL00120130625154550
Police release details of incident at the Fermoy Unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Tuesday. ENGANL00120130625154550

Community mental health care provided in Norfolk and Suffolk is among some of the poorest rated in England, a new patient survey has found.

A report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on Tuesday said that the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), along with three other trusts, performed “significantly worse” than other providers.

It further states that Dr Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals and the regulator’s lead for mental health, will be writing to the four providers which all currently have a requires improvement rating, to demand action following the survey.

The trusts will be urged to review their results and to outline what actions they will take to address the areas of concern, and the CQC will review their progress on their next planned inspections.

More than 13,000 people in the country were canvassed for their opinions on their experiences with community mental health services, of which 850 people were sent questionnaires for their views of NSFT.

Crisis care from NFST was given a 5.4/10 rating by patients, which is worse than most other trusts.

Jon Higgins, whose son died while in the care of a mental health unit in Lynn in 2013, said: “It is not surprising, the suicide rate has increased, and this is indicative of something going badly wrong.

“More money needs to be found, you cannot have decent services on the cheap. They will continue to perform poorly until money is found to run them properly. Mental health services is a topic which needs to be aired.”

The results of the survey also noted that, nationwide, one in three people (35 per cent) reported that their overall experience of care was poor, rating it as six or below out of 10, which is similar to the results in 2015 (36 per cent) and 2014 (34 per cent).

Dr Lelliott said: “I am deeply concerned by the lack of improvement overall in trusts in England.”

Michael Scott, chief executive of NSFT, said: “The results of the survey are disappointing and of great concern to us.

“Our staff have worked extremely hard to improve our services, in particular our community-based services over the past two years and these results do not echo the improvements we have put in place.”