A brave whistleblower tells Nikki Fox of the BBC that the crisis has not gone away; that the demand for mental health services still far exceeds clinical capacity; that the management of Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) appears to have little understanding of the scale of the problems.
The Norwich South MP, Clive Lewis, is concerned by the £80 million of cuts that mental health services have experienced and face.
Amelia Reynolds of the BBC interviews a flustered Michael Scott, the Chief Executive of NSFT. Michael Scott claims he asked staff two weeks ago whether they objected to publication of a report which he has refused to publish since December 2014.
NSFT has not been telling the truth about the Alexander Report:
- The Alexander Report was already anonymous. It did not contain the names of any of the front line staff who were interviewed;
- We applied to be sent a copy of the report under the Freedom of Information Act in December 2014. NSFT refused to reply within the time limits laid down by law and it was only when we went public and contacted NSFT’s solicitor that we received a response. That response was a refusal to make the document public, which we appealed and again we were again refused. This whole process took more than six months and many emails. At no time during this process were the staff involved asked if they objected to the publication of the report.
- NSFT claimed that it was not in the public interest to release the document. The truth is that is was not in its interest.
- The document discussed at the December 2014 NSFT Board Meeting, Lessons Learned (buried at p.122-125 in a huge pdf), does not even begin to properly acknowledge the mistakes and problems. It doesn’t even refer to the report and seems to ignore the patient safety and governance issues raised. Lessons Learned was allocated a mere 15 minutes of discussion.
- Our understanding is that Governors did not see the Alexander Report until it was published by the EDP.
- We don’t know if the Non-Executive Directors of the Board saw the Alexander Report. We suspect not.
Michael Scott has proposed a further £36 million of cuts at NSFT to Monitor but he claims to Amelia Reynolds that it is ‘an absolute worst case’. Is Scott saying one thing to Monitor, another to the BBC?
Is the NHS Blame Game about to start again?
Watch the full report below: