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BBC News: Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust ‘did not update GP’


BBC News reports:

A mental health trust treating a 15-year-old girl with anorexia failed to keep in touch with her GP or keep full records, a report states.


Ellie Long, 15, was found hanged in her room in Wymondham, Norfolk, in 2017.

While the managers of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) play bureaucratic musical chairs in an atmosphere of denial and self-pity, this is the awful reality for too many families in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) was told to take urgent action by Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake.

An inquest in January heard the trust had not been aware of Ellie’s historical suicide risk, a care plan had never been completed and there was no crisis plan.

The coroner concluded she may not have intended to take her own life.

In March, Mrs Lake said she was not satisfied with the trust’s response over two issues – record-keeping and communications with outside agencies – and made a “prevention of future death” report to the chief executive of NSFT.

We believe that NSFT has been the recipient of more Prevention of Future Death reports than any other NHS trust in the country.

The report says an initial updating letter was sent to Ellie’s GP, but another letter was written and not sent and nothing further was shared with the GP by letter, phone or email.

There was no evidence that the trust had tried to contact Ellie’s school.

The report states: “Sharing of information and communication with external agencies is a matter which as been raised with NSFT on previous occasions.”

NSFT says lessons will be learned and then does nothing.

Mrs Lake also pointed out that trust’s response that it would “remind staff of the importance of recording efforts to share information” may not be sufficient to prevent future deaths.

She stated it was the importance of sharing information and communicating that needed to be addressed.

Regarding record-keeping, Mrs Lake said not all records were entered into the electronic system, with some handwritten notes from meetings only coming to light at the inquest.

She said she recognised NSFT had taken some action with staff, but she added: “I have concern that full record keeping and disclosure requirements will not remain a priority.”

If we judge NSFT by what it does rather than what it says, it is clear that the management’s priorities are jobs and pay rises rather than the delivery of prompt, high-quality care to the people of Norfolk and Suffolk.

In November, NSFT was rated inadequate for a third time, making it England’s worst-performing mental health trust.

You’d never know that if you read the self-congratulatory press releases and Twitter feeds of the clique that runs NSFT.

Its chief executive at the time of the inquest and report, Antek Lejk, stepped down in March after less than a year in post.

Antek Lejk is still trousering his outrageous £175,000 per year NSFT salary from NHS coffers but apparently we have no right to know what he is doing for his enormous salary.

Diane Hull, Chief Nurse of the NSFT, said: “We would again like to express our condolences to Ellie’s family and friends. Her death was a tragedy and it is essential that we take every opportunity to not only learn but to act in a way which ensures improvement.”

How many times have we heard this?

If the condolences were sincere, they would be published on the NSFT website. If you look, you can read about garden openings, benches, tea parties, sing-alongs, family fun days but you’ll find nothing about this death or the far too many others.

Click on the image below to read the article in full on the BBC News website:


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