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Mental health campaigners to hold protests in London over inspection report

PUBLISHED: 08:42 13 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 13 December 2018

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk protest outside Hellesdon Hospital. Photo: Geraldine Scott

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk protest outside Hellesdon Hospital. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Geraldine Scott

Mental health campaigners will head to London to demand better mental health care in the region.

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk plans to protest outside the Department of Health and Social Care, before attempting to meet with MPs at Westminster.

And they will also demonstrate outside NHS England and NHS Improvement offices on December 17.

It comes after the region’s mental health trust Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) was rated as inadequate for the third time by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

A spokesman for the group said: “We now need to hold those responsible for the current disastrous toleration of repeated failure and unnecessary deaths to account. The mental health Mid Staffs must be stopped.”

Mid Staffs has become a byword for NHS care at its most negligent, with a number of inquiries launched to get to the bottom of failings at the Mid Staffordshire Trust.

The spokesman added: “We wrote to the current secretary of state for health and social care, Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock, in 2014, more than four years ago, warning him of the worsening crisis in mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk. He didn’t even reply. Now is the time for him to do the right thing and sack the Board and senior management of NSFT and bring in new and competent management from the best NHS trusts in the country.”

The campaigners also held three days of protests following the CQC report publication last month.

NSFT chief executive Antek Lejk previously said: “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.”

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