Board of Directors – Public SessionHeld on Thursday 26th March 2015 at 9.30 amin the Main Hall, Hellesdon HospitalChair’s welcome and notificationsGary Page welcomed the Board of Directors, governors, staff and public. The Chair informed those present that questions from the public gallery would be taken at the end of the agenda as the Board of Directors have [sic] agreed that questions during the agenda interrupts [sic] the flow of the meeting.
Service users, carers, governors, staff and public wishing to ask questions or contribute to the decision making body of Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will now have to wait for two or three hours until the agenda is exhausted, debate has concluded and after the decisions have already been made.
Why is NSFT seeking to emulate South Norfolk CCG’s Kafkaesque meetings? Apparently it is about flow.
We’ve never noticed any interruption to the flow of NSFT Board meetings from occasional questions. Our Campaign does not attend Board meetings often but in our experience one hand is more than sufficient to count the number of members of the public present.
At the last meeting we attended, campaigners raised issues such as problems recruiting staff in West Norfolk, the implementation of the prevention of suicide strategy, the financial sustainability of the trust and that the CQC report was generous because it did not visit adult community teams in central Norfolk. Perhaps that interrupted the flow?
The Lead Governor asked some questions and in her prologue highlighted the importance of holding the Board to account. Perhaps Guenever Pachent interrupted the flow?
Other governors congratulated campaigners on their well-informed and incisive questions. Perhaps those governors didn’t notice the interruption of the flow?
Were the governors consulted on this change?
Were service users, staff and carers consulted?
Is flow really more important than public participation?
Given the appalling mistakes made by the NSFT Board which have cost lives and millions of pounds, it should welcome ‘well-informed and incisive’ contributions. Perhaps the only contributions it welcomes are generic reports which cost the taxpayer £49,990+VAT and come from a company of which the former NSFT Chair who forced through the disastrous radical redesign, Maggie Wheeler, is an Associate?
Over coffee at the last NSFT Board meeting attended by our campaign, the Chair told campaigners how welcome they were. At the next meeting the Chair announced this change.
Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is the untrustworthy trust.
Gary Page is a merchant banker.