Local mental health and disability trust requires ‘improvement’

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) was rated as ‘requiring improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published earlier this month, a step up from their three consecutive ratings of ‘inadequate’, most recently in September 2018. The NSFT provides mental health and learning disability service in the region. The trust provides services for adults and children with mental health needs throughout Norfolk and Suffolk, including work within the criminal justice system and specialist services, such as the Community Eating Disorders Service (CEDS). It is the only mental health trust in England to have been placed in special measures with the step first taken in February 2015.

Chief executive of NSFT, Jonathan Warren, who recently took up the job, admitted it still had, “a way to go”.

Based on an inspection in Autumn last year, four out of five criteria for the trust were found to ‘require improvement’. The community mental health services for children and young people (CAMHS) was mentioned specifically as having issues with staff and waiting times. Most concerning, was the deeming of the learning disability inpatient service as unsafe. Despite this, the report states that, to their observation, “there had been a shift in approach and foundations had been laid to improve the direction of travel”.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Prof Ted Baker, said there had been a, “shift in approach” after concerns over safety, culture and leadership.

“Most staff felt more listened to, empowered, and believed the trust is moving forwards. We saw early improvements in almost all areas and a feeling of optimism from all staff, but there had not been enough time to judge if these changes would be sustained”, he said.


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Eliza Jack

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October 2021
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