Kathy Chapman was the Director of Operations of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and the self-proclaimed architect of the Trust Service Strategy (TSS), otherwise known as the ‘radical redesign’, until her ‘promotion‘ in July 2014.
The ‘radical redesign’ was condemned by the King’s Fund in the Health Service Journal (HSJ) and is widely regarded as an unmitigated disaster which resulted in Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust becoming the first mental health trust in England to be placed into Special Measures by Monitor after being rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). NSFT’s Board ignored warnings about the impact of the massive radical redesign cuts from its own staff, service users and carers as well as the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the BMA and Unison. NSFT wasted millions of pounds paying its own staff to leave in the midst of a recruitment crisis.
In July 2014, the Chief Executive of NSFT, Michael Scott, announced:
Kathy Chapman is to undertake a one year secondment to work with Geraldine Strathdee, the National Clinical Director for mental health. This is an exciting and prestigious opportunity for Kathy which will also support important work in NSFT. Kathy will start as Programme Manager for the Mental Health programme on 28th July.
NSFT’s 2014-15 Annual Report stated that Kathy Chapman was on ‘Secondment with NHS England’. Yet when we made inquiries at NHS England using the Freedom of Information Act, NHS England told us that Kathy Chapman did not work there. Kathy Chapman never returned to work for NSFT.
Given the catastrophic results of the radical redesign in Norfolk and Suffolk, we remain profoundly concerned that Kathy Chapman’s ‘exciting and prestigious opportunity’ might involve working on mental health policy at a national level. There are alarming similarities in tone and content between NHS England’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (FYFV) and the radical redesign. We hope we’re wrong.