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Deaths Crisis: Michael Scott’s misleading claims to Norfolk’s Health Committee about the Verita report

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The Chief Executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), Michael Scott, told Norfolk County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) that our campaign was involved in the drafting and agreed to the terms of reference of the Verita investigation.

This is untrue and we told the HOSC it is untrue.

Here are the relevant emails:

From: Jane Sayer

To: Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

Date: 18 February 2016

As you know, we have asked Verita to undertake an independent investigation of unexpected deaths.  They will be starting next week, and I’d really appreciate if you could meet with them, or be availlable to have a phone conversation.  I want to make sure they hear from a range of people, and not just from the Trust.  Can you let me know if you can do this, and I will put you in touch with the relevant person?

Thanks, Jane.

We provided contact details to Jane Sayer, the Director of Nursing at NSFT, who passed them on to Verita.

From: Charlie de Montfort

To: Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

Date: 24 February 2016

I’m introducing myself as a member of the Verita review team that is independently reviewing unexpected deaths at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS FT from April 2012 – December 2015. I have attached the full terms of reference for our work.

As part of the review, we are keen to meet with representation from ‘The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk’. Jane Sayer, the trust’s Director of Nursing, suggested that you would be the person to speak to/facilitate this. Is this correct?

I have attached a letter for interviewees and a guide for interviewees. These documents outline the purpose of our meeting/interview. As for dates, would either the 14th or 15th March be convenient? The meeting/interview should take approximately one hour.

I have also attached the biographies of the review team.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Charlie

Charlie de Montfort

Consultant

Verita: Improvement through investigation

From: Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

To: Charlie de Montfort, Verita

Date: 26 February 2016

Charlie,

Where would the interview take place?
I’m still all awaiting all feedback on the terms of reference.
Kind regards.

From: Charlie de Montfort

To: Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

Date: 26 February 2016

Thanks for coming back to me.

The lead investigator, Kathryn Hyde-Bales, and myself will be across Norfolk and Suffolk on 14th and 15th March so it is likely that we will be able to meet you somewhere local to you. That is, I don’t know where you are based. Could you please let me know when you have a moment?

As for the terms of reference, we have finalised them with the trust this week. As they are the trust’s terms of reference, which we have amended and had approved by the trust, you would need to contact the trust and not ourselves about any feedback on the terms of reference. Jane Sayer, the Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety, would be the most suitable person to contact.

Please let me know if you have further questions and I look forward to hearing from you about a suitable venue for the meeting.

Kind regards

Charlie

Charlie de Montfort

Consultant

Verita: Improvement through investigation

We raised our unhappiness with the terms of reference through several channels and were told that the terms of reference had been agreed by the NSFT Board and could not be changed.

From: Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

To: Charlie de Montfort, Verita

Date: 26 February 2016

Charlie,

Until our committee decides whether we can accept NSFT’s terms of reference (which doesn’t look likely at the moment), it would be premature to arrange a meeting.
I’ll let you know as soon as a final decision is made.

From: Charlie de Montfort

To: Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

Date: 26 February 2016

Thank you for the update.

To reiterate, we are keen to meet with representation from ‘The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk’. As such we would really appreciate you letting us know as soon as possible whether a meeting can be arranged with us from your end, so that we can ensure to fit this into our schedule.

As mentioned we will be in the Norfolk/Suffolk area on 14th and 15th March. We will also we in the area on 21st March. If none of these dates are convenient we could easily arrange a call.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Charlie

Charlie de Montfort

Consultant

Verita: Improvement through investigation

From: Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk

To: Charlie de Montfort, Verita

Date: 8 March 2016

Dear Mr de Montfort,

We are still unhappy with the terms of reference but will meet you never the less.

Please can you let us know what times are available on 14/15/21 March and where the meeting would take place?

In addition, you probably need to meet at least two or three of us. We would be happy to meet you together. Would this be a problem for you?

Regards.

We raised our unhappiness with the terms of reference at our meeting with Verita.

NSFT never provided any opportunity for us to be involved in the drafting of the terms of reference.

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One thought on “Deaths Crisis: Michael Scott’s misleading claims to Norfolk’s Health Committee about the Verita report

  1. Steve says:

    I don’t understand. How does the Trust get to set the terms of reference for an investigating body to look at their practice? It seems completely absurd. Their needs to be a criminal investigation that can look at whatever they want to look at in order to uncover the truth of the situation. This is frustrating, I’d love to tell the garage they can MOT my car but don’t look at the engine.

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