BBC News: Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust back in special measures

The BBC reports:

A mental health trust has been put back in special measures after its board “failed” to address serious concerns raised since 2014, a report says.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), which rated the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) as inadequate, has called for a host of improvements.

It is the only such trust in England to be put in special measures and only came out in October last year.

In its report, the CQC says the board of the NSFT, which was first put in special measures in February 2015, had failed to ensure “unsafe environments were made safe”.

CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals Ted Baker said: “It is extremely disappointing that on our return to NSFT we found the board had failed to address a number of serious concerns.

“The trust leadership… must ensure it takes robust action to ensure improvements are made and we will continue to monitor the trust closely.”

Mother’s anger over death

A mother has criticised the NSFT after her son killed himself five days after being released from a mental health unit.

Henry Curtis-Williams, 21, was detained under the Mental Health Act by police after he was seen peering over the top of Orwell Bridge in Ipswich.

He was put in the care of the NSFT but was released the following afternoon. Five days later he hanged himself.

His mother Pippa Travis-Williams, from Ipswich, feels the trust should have done more for her only son.

“I cannot begin to describe how I feel other than I feel I’ve been completely robbed of the future I had planned for the last 21 years with my son,” she told BBC health correspondent Sophie Hutchinson.

“I will never attend his graduation from university, I will never attend a wedding and see him have grandchildren. I’ve been robbed of everything. It’s heart-breaking.”


By BBC News health correspondent Sophie Hutchinson

Last year, when the trust was taken out of special measures, many patients and families were shocked and warned it had not improved.

Today, questions are being asked about whether inspectors acted too hastily. The CQC has said it took the decision to take the trust out of special measures because it believed the service was improving. Now, it has said it is very disappointed and will keep a close eye on things, taking further action if necessary.

For trusts that do not improve after special measures there is the possibility of breaking them up and starting again with a new organisation.

There are also questions about funding. The Norfolk and Suffolk trust redesigned its services in 2013 as a response to a 20% cut in its budget, cutting staff and frontline teams. In the five years since, four have seen cuts to its budget.

And other mental health trusts have concerns. A few months ago, a survey by NHS Providers found a third of mental health trust chief executives in England expected their finances to deteriorate over the next six months.

To read the report in full on the BBC News website, click on the image below:

219 thoughts on “BBC News: Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust back in special measures”

  1. So apparently, according to the new chief exec, and ex director if finance Julie Cave, Michael Scott didn’t get a payoff, ‘he retired six months early and received £87,000 as part of his contract’………but that’s not a payoff….its normal…..try telling that to the hard working clinical staff led by ‘inadequate’ board leadership…..rewarding failure at the top……

  2. Once the trust was considered one of the best in the country, then came radical redesign, ignoring the warnings of staff, and disaster, while people like Gary Page went on Look East and told people that they weren’t seeing problems. Claims that the trust could maintain the same level of care with 20% cuts…which is simply ridiculous……Well Mr Page now the Trust is being heralded as ‘the worst in the country’.  Appearing yet again on national news….In special measures for a second time…..Is anyone listening……its simply time for the board to go……

  3. The trust should never have been taken out of special measures in the first place. Michael Scott was nothing more than a feckless puppet for the criminally negligent board, led by master criminal Gary Page.

    Hopefully, a new chief exec (not that grimacing rabbit-in-the headlights bean-counter, Julie Cave) will be brought in to sort out this whole sorry mess. If they’ve any sense, they’ll insist that Page and the rest of his cronies are dismissed first!

  4. What are the non-executive directors and the governors doing in all this? Why have the priorities and strategies devised by the Board been supported by the non execs and the governors when the governors in particular should be expressing the views of the public? As Julie Cave current CEO said on the TV, one in four people mentally ill equates to one in every family. If they read the CQC report on the leadership of the Trust, would they be supporting the continuation of the present Board members? And to say the Board was disappointed…Those receiving and pleading for services will be more than disappointed if the entire failing Board is not sent packing.

  5. In March last year I was sectioned, it took police almost 3 hours of telephoning every secure unit in the south east and east anglia, eventually I ended up in Gt Yarmouth, 70 miles from home, and I have severe mental health issues with self harm, and just a few short hours ago the so called renamed crisis team couldn’t be bothered to help. Those clowns have pushed me close to the edge, and were responsible for a death of a man at Stoke Park Asda a few years ago. Bright idea shutting large mental health units and replacing them with jumped up portakabins like Woodlands. I think the heads of NSFT should be forced to attend the autopsies of those they kill through their incompetence, and be put on manslaughter charges. Mental health care is now nothing short of criminal, I am at high risk of suicide according to my GP, but the crisis team think all is well. Explain that NSFT, you liars!

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