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Mental health trust stays in special measures


By Lynn News Reporter


Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) remains in special measures after being given an ‘inadequate’ overall rating by the Quality Care Commission (CQC) in a report published today.

The CQC said that although action was being taken to improve safety, risk management, leadership and governance across the mental health trust, the changes had not been made quickly enough to bring about sustained improvement.

Inspectors said more could be done to ensure safety, while access to services and the way waiting lists are managed also need to be improved.

The report comes just a week after the early departure of NSFT chairman Gary Page from his job.

The report did note several areas of good practice, and praised staff for treating patients with compassion and kindness, respecting their privacy and dignity and providing support to help service users improve their physical health.

In addition, work which had taken place to improve documentation and the way the trust learns from incidents was highlighted.

Inspectors rated both forensic services and the community learning disability service as ‘good’ overall.

The Dragonfly Unit, which provides inpatient care for children and young people, was considered ‘outstanding’.

In West Norfolk, the trust is currently creating a 16-bed inpatient unit at Chatterton House, in

Work taking place on the development of the new Mental Health Unit at Chatterton House King's Lynn. (5649078)
Work taking place on the development of the new Mental Health Unit at Chatterton House King's Lynn. (5649078)

In West Norfolk, the trust is currently creating a 16-bed inpatient unit at Chatterton House, in Lynn

Antek Lejk, chief executive of NSFT, said: “We are obviously disappointed with the CQC’s findings, but fully accept their report and its recommendations. Although we have been working hard to make improvements, we recognise that the actions we have taken so far have not resulted in the rapid progress which both the CQC and our Trust had hoped for.

“Since receiving the draft report, we have been taking action to address the immediate concerns found by the CQC and listening to our staff and service users to make sure we fully understand the deeper challenges faced by the trust. This will allow our new senior management team to make long-term, sustainable changes which are based on their knowledge and experience and also draw on best practice from across the wider NHS. We are determined to get things right.

“We need to ensure consistent good practice across the trust and bring all of our services up to the standard our patients and carers deserve.

"Our priorities now will be to resolve ongoing issues around access to services, waiting lists, care planning and staffing levels, while also making sure we have the right systems in place to ensure patient safety at all times.

“Such wide-scale transformation will take time and will not always be smooth, but we remain committed to making the necessary changes in the right way so that we can ensure our services provide safe, effective care for everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

NSFT’s board will discuss the report in public at its meeting at the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds on tomorrow.



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