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'Norfolk people deserve better', says county council chief after mental health trust report

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A senior Norfolk County Council figure says the county's people deserve better after its mental health trust was deemed inadequate again last week.

Bill Borrett, the authority's cabinet member for adult social care, says the authority will work constructively with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust following the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) verdict issued last week.

But, in a statement released this morning, he called for radical steps to be taken.

The Samphire Ward.
The Samphire Ward.

Mr Borrett said: “I was extremely disappointed to see the outcome of the CQC Inspection of the NHS Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Trust, in particular that, despite support from NHS England and a partner Mental Health Trust, they had not been able to maintain improvement.

“The people of Norfolk, and those vulnerable people with mental health needs, deserve much better.

“I have written last week to the Chairman of the Trust to express the Council’s concern, and will keep Cabinet appraised of their plans for action.

Bill Borrett Norfolk County Council. (56227835)
Bill Borrett Norfolk County Council. (56227835)

“Of course we support the staff of the Trust in their endeavours and as a partner we will play a constructive part in the improvement process.

“But the County is entitled to expect radical steps now to ensure that the improvement process underway does deliver a sustained improvement.

“I will be talking to our NHS colleagues to explore how best the Council can receive oversight and updates on the improvement, including possible reports to committees.”

The statement was released as county council cabinet members met at County Hall for the first time since the CQC report was issued on Thursday.

Campaigners have called for an independent inquiry into the failures of the trust and other NHS agencies over many years.

And a senior union official has demanded urgent action from trust bosses and ministers to address the crisis.

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