“Since 2013, we have repeatedly warned about the increasing number of managers employed at NSFT as mental health services have been savagely cut and the number of unexpected deaths has doubled. But the NHS payroll information is worse than we could have imagined. While the number of doctors and qualified nurses at NSFT has fallen by more than twenty per cent over the last five years, the number of managers has risen by more than fifty per cent. Some of these same managers have ‘awarded’ themselves £10,000 pay rises while the average pay of front line staff has fallen by £289. NSFT continues to pay six-figure salaries even after ‘retirement’ or ‘resignation’ following damning CQC inspections. In contrast, across the other NHS trusts in Norfolk, the number of doctors has risen by 2.9 per cent while the number of managers has fallen by 9.3 per cent.
“NSFT now has 67 per cent more managers than the Norfolk and Norwich, a university teaching hospital with three times the turnover, nearly twice as many qualified nurses and more than five times as many doctors. While NSFT has thirty senior managers, the Norfolk and Norwich has twelve. NSFT employs 1.3 doctors for every manager, while the Norfolk and Norwich employs 12.25 doctors for every manager. This pattern is repeated across Norfolk, with NSFT having more managers than the James Paget and Queen Elizabeth hospitals combined.
“This is about much more than just an incompetent and self-serving bureaucracy. The declining numbers of doctors and nurses demonstrate the quite disproportionate way in which mental health services have been cut by Norfolk commissioners. The NHS managers responsible for mental health services seem to believe that doctors, nurses and patients are inconvenient costs and that the solution to a problem is always another manager or to cut front line staffing and services. NSFT created yet another highly-paid ‘Associate Director’ this month. The management culture is toxic: mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk are not being designed or run in the shared interests of patients, carers, front line staff or taxpayers, with clinical staff marginalised, evidence-based practice disregarded and service user engagement tokenistic.”