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Mental health trust report is worse than those before it - campaigners and union boss

PUBLISHED: 00:01 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:28 28 November 2018

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said the latest CQC report was the worst yet. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said the latest CQC report was the worst yet. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2016

The latest report’s into the region’s mental health trust - which brands it unsafe and poorly led - is the worst it has received, campaigners have claimed.

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said the latest CQC report was the worst yet. Picture: Matthew Usher.The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said the latest CQC report was the worst yet. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “This report is worse than the previous inadequate report which saw the mental health trust placed into special measures.

“If Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) is unresponsive, how can we expect it to improve? It defies belief that significant concerns raised by the regulator four years ago in 2014 have still not been addressed.

“Frankly, we do not believe that NSFT is capable of improvement. It doesn’t appear that the CQC has much faith in NSFT either. The people of Norfolk and Suffolk have suffered for too long, there have been too many funerals and inquests. We deserve better. It is now time for our MPs to demand decisive action from health secretary, Matt Hancock.”

While Unison regional organiser Peter Passingham added: “Any of us could suddenly find ourselves relying on NSFT to keep us safe in a moment of crisis but after a history of being placed in special measures, CQC ratings have actually got worse in many areas since the last inspection. Inspectors found that staff were valiantly struggling on and trying to do their best by patients despite low morale and insufficient resources. But their findings are also grimly predictable. Since the trust was created it’s weathered year after year of cuts along with the rest of the NHS.”

Unison regional organiser Peter Passingham. Photo: UnisonUnison regional organiser Peter Passingham. Photo: Unison

But Antek Lejk, chief executive at 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.”

NSFT’s board will discuss the report in public at its meeting at the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday, November 29, between 12.30pm and 3.30pm.

Antek Lejk, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFTAntek Lejk, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFT

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