A spokesperson for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services said:
Last week, we ran a sentence or two about bullying and abuse at NSFT in our chronology outlining the role of the new Chief Executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Antek Lejk, in the out-of-hours deaths scandal.
In a sadly typical example of victim blaming, the shameful reaction of the senior non-executive director at NSFT was not to be concerned about bullying and abuse but to step up the pressure and to demand resignations for breaching confidentiality because the news of the bullying and abuse had entered the public domain.
We wish to put it on the record that the person who was most directly and openly bullied and abused was NOT the source for our original reporting of what happened. They were much too upset. We were not told about the ‘confidential’ business of the meeting but about the bullying and abuse.
The appalling bullying and abuse exemplifies everything that is wrong with corporate governance and the values of NSFT.
The completely out-of-touch Council of Governors didn’t seem too bothered when it didn’t have a clue that the trust was to be failed by the Care Quality Commission and put into Special Measures by NHS Improvement for an unprecedented second time, even after meeting the Chair the day before it was announced, when all the senior management knew, the local media knew because they’d read the embargoed press release from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and our campaign knew. The service users, carers and front line staff who the Council of Governors are supposed to represent knew mental health services were failing. Many executives and directors had known for weeks: NSFT’s then Chief Executive, Michael Scott, found out about the failure the day before he went on holiday and resigned the day he came back. NSFT’s Board claimed he had ‘retired’ but paid his £175,000 salary for another six months.
The completely lacking in self-reflection Council of Governors didn’t seem too bothered when PWC wrote the most appallingly damning report into the malfunctioning of the NSFT Board of Directors which the Council of Governors is supposed to supervise.
The Council of Governors didn’t seem too bothered when it was misled and bullied into approving the imposition of a new Chief Executive who NSFT’s own service users and carers found unappointable.
But the Council of Governors is enraged if the bullying and abuse of whistleblowers raising legitimate safety and corporate governance concerns with NHS regulators enters the public domain – and then proceeds to further judge, bully and abuse.