A Stitch-up is not Safe: Improvement doesn’t look like this

We’ve known the intended result of the inspection of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) since before Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the worst mental health trust in the country.

We’ve heard rumours from many quarters that NSFT would be moved from ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Requires Improvement’ tomorrow for months, with the bureaucratic dinosaur known as NHS Improvement and NHS England covering its corporate back by keeping NSFT in Special Measures.

The NHS bureaucracy has decided that the way to end NSFT’s failure is to pretend NSFT isn’t failing patients and carers, to ignore the evidence from stakeholders across Norfolk and Suffolk, both within and without the NHS.

It is as though Mid Staffs never happened, that the Francis Report was never written.

That said, the NHS bureaucracy lacks sufficient confidence in the Board of NSFT to risk its own reputation, perhaps because the last time NSFT was unwisely released from Special Measures its directors gave themselves £10,000 pay rises and then took the trust straight back to Inadequate and Special Measures. So, the stitch-up is that NSFT will no longer be completely Inadequate but will remain in Special Measures.

Individual CQC inspectors did their best, much as front line clinical staff do their best in impossible conditions at NSFT, but the resulting report was always going to be much more about NHS and Whitehall politics than patient safety. We wrote to CQC back in October to raise our serious concerns, which were and are shared by others who cannot speak out.

Look at this excerpt from NSFT’s own performance dashboard, a sea of red, contained in the papers for the NSFT Board meeting in November 2019, to see how divorced from reality the claims of improvement from CQC will be tomorrow.

Then remember Peggy Copeman dying alone on the M11 just before Christmas.

Improvement doesn’t look like this:

2 thoughts on “A Stitch-up is not Safe: Improvement doesn’t look like this”

  1. It seems to me that NSFT are so awful over such a long period that other than sacking the entire board which of course they wont recommend they have nothing left to offer them. They have been in special measures with supposed assistance given to enable them to improve by so many different bodies for so long, that despite evidence to prove they are not improving at all there is nothing left to suggest other than to say they require improvement to try and satisfy people that changes are being made and everything is improving even when it isnt. Everyone including staff, service users, carers, other health care professionals must despair of this board and this trust…so the only thing left is to raise them out of special measures and hope further disasters dont occur to prove them wrong.. thus gambling with peoples lives even further….disgusting. 

  2. The CQC have been gathering information on them for over twelve months. The one problem is the so called management are on a merry go round. They mess up, leave get paid out and then get found other jobs, then come back again for another go. They can put out all the figures they like, they can all be tweaked. Statistics mean nothing. Sadly staff seem to find it easier to tell lies than be the ones to stand up to them and lose their jobs. Perhaps if they were split into two trusts as they were originally it might be better. They should never have closed the beds, when so called care in the community came into being. All that’s happened less staff cope with more patients which leads to discharged that should never have happened and no beds or qualified staff for those that need them. = more deaths, suicides and attempted suicides. Despite warnings from people at the hospital Psychiatric teams or at least some of them, others say they can do nothing to help. In many parts of the County they use Locum Psychiatrists who don’t stay long, some only two weeks thus having inaccurate records. Sadly this could go on for years.

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