Mark Shields of the EDP reports:
The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s decision follows the decision of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) to opt out of becoming one of nine pathfinder trusts examining mutual ownership.
Chief executive Michael Scott said the decision had been taken by the board in light of feedback from staff and the trust’s other priorities. The trust was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission, which recommended it be put in special measures.
Mr Scott said: “There has been a level of misunderstanding about the project and the aims of our trust in taking part. We can see that this has led to concern among our staff about a risk of ‘privatisation of the NHS’.
Carol Briggs, joint Unison NSFT branch secretary, said: “We welcome this swift action taken by the board of directors. It’s vitally important that staff on the frontline are listened to. Our members told us clearly that they had no interest in leaving the NHS, and our involvement in this project was at risk of further damaging morale.
“We look forward to working constructively with the board to find ways of improving staff engagement and making sure that staff well being is at the heart of the future direction of NSFT. All our staff want is to have the resources that they need to provide high quality care for everyone who needs our service. We hope this move signals a fresh approach from the board in responding to the genuinely held concerns of staff.”
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