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EDP: Children and young people with mental ill health ‘slipped through the net’ as staff were forced to make own waiting lists

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Geraldine Scott of the Eastern Daily Press reports:

Staff working in children and young people’s mental health were forced to make their own waiting lists as official data was so inaccurate and cases “slipped through the net”.

Those were the findings of a report into services provided by the region’s mental health trust when inspectors visited in April.

Although the directors and senior managers of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) like nothing better than to moan about ‘media hype’, the Health Correspondent of the EDP, Geraldine Scott, was in this case extremely generous to the failing mental health trust’s services for Children, Families and Young People (CFYP).

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected three domains: Safe, Responsive and Well-Led. All were rated ‘Inadequate’, the lowest possible rating. The CQC decided that ‘all requirement notices issued in the last inspection remain in place.’

CFYP was originally kept outside of the scope of the disastrous ‘radical restructure’ which has seen many of the same failed, incompetent managers who produced the ‘radical redesign’ disaster re-appointed and in some cases re-employed with pay rises, to the disgust of front line staff.

CFYP’s appalling performance and urgent need to improve didn’t stop the manager of CFYP playing a role in the shambolic ‘radical restructure’ interview week which saw the appointment of, amongst others, his brother to a Service Director job with a track record of ‘successes’ at AAT, Wellbeing, Acute Services and most recently, CRHT. No doubt with a pay rise. How convenient.

Following the ‘radical restructure’, the manager of CFYP, probably the worst-performing and most chaotic part of NSFT, has now been promoted to his new job as Service Director of CFYP without a competitive interview process and stakeholder panel. No doubt with a substantial pay rise. How convenient.

We can see how completely justified these promotions and pay rises were from the CQC’s findings as reported by Geraldine Scott:

The report found:

– Staff had “overlooked some patients on the waiting lists and had not followed them up”

– “Waiting list data […] was not always accurate and staff in some services had created their own waiting lists to be assured that information was being captured correctly”

– In one case staff assumed another agency had made a safeguarding referral about a patient but this was not true and it had not happened

– Record keeping was poor, staff did not always update risk assessments and there was “limited evidence of detailed crisis plans”

Poor record keeping was raised by senior coroner for Norfolk Jacqueline Lake in a report released last week into the death of 15-year-old Ellie Long, from Wymondham.

The anorexic teenager had been under the care of NSFT at the time of her death and Mrs Lake said records were either not recorded properly, handwritten notes were not uploaded onto the electronic system, and some notes only came to light during the inquest into Miss Long’s death.

She said: “Record keeping has been raised elsewhere as a matter of concern within NSFT. I have concern that full record keeping and disclosure requirements will not remain a priority.”

The ‘success’ of the new Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Amy Eagle, and manager mates in the ‘radical restructure’ shows that candidates had no reason to be concerned about being challenged about their track records or values at interview.

Some of the stakeholder panels consisted of only two people, with no service user, carer or clinical representation. The interview of Amy Eagle, who led the destruction of community mental health services in Norwich during the ‘radical redesign’, was held in Ipswich, a long way from her previous ‘success’ in Norwich. How convenient.

Amy Eagle’s best friend is the Head of HR at NSFT. How convenient.

Staff who have questions about these appointments were invited to email the ‘Personal Assistant’ of the Chief Operating Officer, Stuart Richardson. How inconvenient.

No organisation does nepotism, cronyism and incompetence like NSFT.

Click on the image below to read the story in full on the EDP website:

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