“Earlier in the year, we published a letter from stakeholders expressing concerns about the appointment of the Head of Recovery, Participation and Partnership at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) against the judgement and wishes of the stakeholder panel.
The NSFT Solicitor, aided by the prestigious and expensive lawyers at Bevan Brittan, has written to us and quite correctly pointed out that the published letter ‘appears to be based upon a number of misunderstandings in respect of the purpose and operation of a stakeholder panel.’ We concur.
We recognise that the function of stakeholder appointment panels is limited to window-dressing and that they have no power or influence whatsoever in the recruitment processes at NSFT. Although many other NHS organisations do engage with stakeholders in a genuine way in recruitment matters, we acknowledge that this has never been the case at NSFT.
Members of stakeholder panels must accept that they are wasting their time unpaid and that such panels are an opportunity for social engagement and nothing else, even when appointing the person expected to liaise with stakeholders. Instead, stakeholders should place their faith in the newly-anointed Head of Recovery, Participation and Partnership and the semi-professional ‘service user representative’ who is paid to sit on nearly all of the senior appointment panels at NSFT.
We apologise for our naivety and any confusion or embarrassment caused.”