“Last year, the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk & Suffolk accused Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) of having spent £7.3 million on redundancies in 2013/4 in the midst of a recruitment crisis which placed mental health services at severe risk. At the time, NSFT said our claims were ‘inaccurate’. It has recently emerged that our claims were indeed inaccurate and that we should have been more careful. We sincerely apologise.
“NSFT did not spend £7.3 million on redundancies. Following research undertaken by Health Service Journal, analysed by the EDP, NSFT spent £8.8 million on severance payments in 2013/4, which represented nearly a tenth of all staff severance payments paid out by all NHS foundation trusts nationwide in 2013/4. This was an astonishing and nationally significant performance by NSFT.
“The Campaign misunderestimated NSFT’s incompetence by £1.5 million or more than 20 per cent. NSFT managed to waste £17.25 million in just three years on severance payments. We are very sorry to have misled the public about the level of incompetence of NSFT’s Board. Indeed, knowing how proud the NSFT Board is of its performance, we should consider ourselves lucky that its Trust Secretary, Robert Nesbitt, did not spend thousands of pounds of NHS funds exploring legal action against us. In future, we will be much more careful.”