Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust found to be inadequate for third time

A 2018 CQC inspection of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has rated the mental health trust inadequate for the third time in four years, and remains in special measures.

However, while the report identified a number of issues that still remain, it has been noted that the trust has made efforts to improve in various areas, and the child and adolescent wards have been rated as outstanding.

The CQC are concerned that issues raised in 2014 have still not been adequately addressed.

Despite some improvements, there are still concerns including:

  • Not all risk assessments were in place or updated in line with the changes in patients’ needs or care
  • Community teams did not have enough staff
  • Inappropriate responses to emergency or urgent referrals
  • Low morale amongst staff
  • Key risk factors had been dealt with and closed with an unsatisfactory outcome

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust are the only mental health trust to have been placed in special measures, and there are now calls for urgent action to be taken. A possible course of action could be to implement the NHS’s failure regime which could see all or parts of the trust taken over by another NHS trust. This would require the health secretary to intervene.

The trust’s chief executive, Antek Lejk , said: “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.”

Despite remaining in special measures the trust was praised for:

  • Staff treating patients with compassion and kindness
  • All staff have received mandatory training
  • Access to clinical information has improved
  • The trust have shown commitment to improving services

The continuing failure of this mental heal trust has seen occurrences of clinical negligence with vulnerable adults resorting to taking their own lives whilst waiting for treatment.
Nyall Brown attempted to take his own life in January 2018 but after seeking help from NSFT, his family found the trust to be disorganised, and at one point were advised to find private medical help for their son. Nyall tragically took his own life in May 2018. Nyall’s father described the trust as “inadequate”.

Please follow the link to read the full CQC report.

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