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EDP: Young people face five month waiting lists for mental health support

Jessica Frank-Keyes of the Eastern Daily Press reports:

Children and young people with mental health issues are waiting up to five months for treatment in parts of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Adolescents with mental health conditions in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are facing waiting lists for mental health support ranging from a week to access urgent treatment and up to five months to receive long-term care.

The figures came to light at a health scrutiny meeting where representatives from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) county’s mental health service outlined the issues facing the young people’s services.

Children and teenagers in need of support have to wait:

– Four weeks for a mental health assessment

– A week to receive urgent care following a referral

– And up to five months for specialist or longer-term care.

In the recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, NSFT was rated requires improvement – a step up from the previous rating of inadequate.

Only NSFT could make a song and dance about being ‘upgraded’ to requires improvement after a stitch-up.

There is no mental health trust in the country with a lower CQC rating than NSFT.

But the only area to remain inadequate – the lowest possible ranking – was the specialist community mental health service for children and young people.

The CQC said that in CFYP ‘The trust had not fully addressed all issues reported at previous inspections. We rated responsive and well-led as inadequate.’

The manager of this worst performing part of NSFT, according to CQC, secured his continuation in his job as manager of the service in the disastrous radical restructure without the role being advertised and open for competitive interview.

Rob Mack, NSFT service manager for child, family and young people’s mental health, said: “We are working with our colleagues and partners in the CCGs, and other agencies, on quality improvement initiatives, improving access and reducing waiting times. Transformation will play an enormous part in 2020 and this will build closer working relationships with alliance partners in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Classic NSFT ‘get away (again)’ spin here: it isn’t us, it is the fault of ‘the CCGs’, ‘other agencies’, whatever that means. NASA? ‘Transformation’ means what? ‘Alliance partners’, blah, blah, blah.

It is just means even more opportunities to dunk biscuits away from pesky front line staff, patients and carers.

“Integral in [sic] all of this is the confidence and support of the children, young people and families. We are committed to working together to develop clinical pathways, share learning and enable quality improvements to happen at pace.”

Yet more meaningless buzzword bingo from NSFT’s toxic and failed management.

Front line staff working in Child, Family and Young People’s mental health describe the situation as ‘chaos’ and are utterly demoralised.

Co-production has been virtually non-existent.

The once thriving Youth Council has collapsed.

Management consultants paid huge sums by the Norfolk and Waveney STP refused to engage with parent and carer groups.

A reader comments on the EDP article:

Children and adolescent mental health service was relaunched in 2015 by Gary Page who got absolutely slaughtered from the floor by desperate parents while the service leads sat behind him saying nothing. Mr Page has gone but the silent ones remain. Our children and young people deserve so much better than career builders and pocket liners.

Of course, ‘Youth’ was supposed to be the flagship service of NSFT in the radical redesign. So much for that. But some people secured enormous salary rises and Clinical Excellence Awards off the back of its failure.

This being NSFT, Rob Mack just happens to be the brother of Andy Mack, recently promoted to NSFT Service Director in Norwich and North Norfolk because of his track record of ‘serial success’ at AAT, Wellbeing/IAPT, adult inpatient services at Hellesdon Hospital and CRHT. All part of the ‘new management’ as a result of the radical restructure.

Andy Mack was one of the two candidates interviewed to be the £90k Deputy Chief Operating Officer of NSFT reporting to ultra-successful Stuart Richardson. Andy Mack and Amy Eagle achieved their ‘successes’ in Norfolk during and since the radical redesign.

Surprisingly, both were interviewed in Suffolk, more than fifty miles away from the results of their impressive NSFT track records in Norwich and Norfolk.

Coincidentally, the Head of HR at NSFT, Sarah Goldie, is one of the best friends of the ‘well-prepared’ and successful candidate for the £90k nonjob, Amy Eagle.

Only NSFT would choose two bureaucrat brothers to represent front line nurses on Nurses Day. That’s because, in the toxic management culture at the country’s worst mental health trust, people who go to meetings and dunk biscuits while the trust repeatedly fails are considered far more important than genuine front line staff who try to hold the service together and see patients.

Both Rob and Andy are, as you can imagine, as well-loved by front line clinical staff as Amy Eagle.

Read the article in full on the EDP website:

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