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Call for a public inquiry: Lobbying MPs

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Following on from the CQC report which once again rated NSFT as ‘inadequate’, our campaign is calling for a statutory public inquiry. We think that there needs to be an investigation into how many people have died and why, and why NSFT have been allowed to be in special measures for so long without improvement.

We need the support of our MPs if we are going to get a public inquiry. Clive Lewis MP is hosting a meeting in London on 5th July ay 1pm. We would like as many people as possible from across Norfolk and Suffolk, to write to their MPs asking them to attend this meeting to hear the concerns our members will present. There is a template letter at the bottom of this page that you can copy and amend to send to your MP.

We will be travelling to London by train and by mini-bus (for those who cannot use the train). If you would like to attend this meeting please let us know as soon as possible so we can arrange the transport.

We are also meeting with Zoe Billingham (NSFT Chair) on Friday 17th June. If you would like to attend this meeting in person or via zoom please email us to arrange.

If anyone has any current issues with mental health services that they would like us to share on their behalf at either of these meetings please email us norfolksuffolkcrisis@gmail.com

TEMPLATE LETTER: Copy, paste, and amend. If you need a ‘word’ version please email us.

Dear [Name of MP]

RE: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

I am a constituent of yours and am a [service user, family member of a service user, carer, bereaved family member, however you wish to introduce yourself]. I will be attending parliament on 5th July at 1pm to join the lobby that is being hosted by Clive Lewis MP in Room Q in Portcullis House 

Please confirm that you will give one hour of your time to come and listen to the collective experience of those of us who have been failed by local mental health services and the wider system. I would also appreciate a 1:1 discussion with you afterwards from 2pm onwards as there are some things that I would not wish to share with other people present.

I am sure that you are as frustrated and dismayed as I am by yet another CQC judgement of Inadequate. Enough is enough. 8 years of failure of leadership and of regulation and intervention is not acceptable. Despite 8 years of close attention and monitoring services are even more unsafe than they were.

Once you have listened to our experiences we hope that you will add your support to our calls for a statutory independent inquiry. Unless there is a genuine understanding of how and why the whole system has failed so spectacularly and that all deaths are properly acknowledged, how can lessons be genuinely learned?

Our concerns are not limited to the lack of leadership at NSFT. We believe that there are significant gaps in legislation that it is within your power to address. The NHS is allowed to investigate itself following a death on a mental health ward or in the community. This is in stark contrast to deaths in police custody or following recent police contact and death in prison.

There are also major failings in the coroner process. There is no ‘join up’ between Coroner services in two counties. Both the Suffolk and Norfolk Coroner has issued Prevention of Future Deaths notices to NSFT that cover similar themes. There appears to be no external oversight of PFDs issued to the same organisation by different bodies, which is a missed opportunity for learning and intervention.

When a coroner issues a Prevention of Future Deaths notice NSFT has a set number of days to respond with a plan. There is then no external follow-up. The Trust is simply left to implement its own plan despite the failings that led to the PFD in the first place suggesting that they have limited ability to make safety improvements.

It is outrageous that NSFT has been allowed to effectively “mark its own homework” on investigating deaths and implementing changes in response to PFDs. We believe that these gaps in legislation have directly led to further harm, and for this unsafe situation to drift on for ten years.

Once you have heard our stories, including examples of how unsafe things continue to be right now, we also hope that you will agree to set up a meeting following the summer recess with the Minister for Health Sajid Javid, the Minister for Mental Health xxx and the Minister for Justice xxxx

I understand that you have joined or at least been invited to briefings following the CQC report attended by NSFT, the CQC and NHSE&I. Our voices have not been heard and in order for you to exercise your responsibilities towards us, you need to listen to us.

I look forward to a prompt reply and to meeting you on 5 July

[include address and postcode as they won’t respond unless they can check you are a constituent]

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4 thoughts on “Call for a public inquiry: Lobbying MPs

  1. alsmithee says:

    Perhaps having one like EPUT’s inquiry, which is another poorly run and management heavy mental health trust that’s not fit for purpose: https://www.emhii.org.uk/
    There is a precedent now with EPUT’s inquiry, I hope NSFT is put under the same microscope. A complete shambles with NHSE&I tinkering around the edges instead of taking decisive action.

    Reply
  2. Duncan Double says:

    I agree about how your call for an inquiry relates to the one in EPUT. However, as I understand it, the EUPT inquiry relates primarily to inpatients. I think your call for an inquiry is wider than this. I also think NSFT could be doing more, which I understand it is doing, to obtain an independent analysis of the mortality data it already has.

    Reply
    • admin says:

      We agree our call is wider. We are not convinced by NSFT commissioning their own investigation into how many have died. Who will hold them to account? What it does do is prove they don’t know how many have died.

      Reply

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