We wrote to:
Matthew Hancock, Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and MP for West Suffolk
Dido Harding, Chair, NHS Improvement (NHSI)
Ian Dalton, Chief Executive, NHS Improvement (NHSI)
Dale Bywater, Executive Regional Managing Director (Midlands and East), NHS Improvement (NHSI)
Paul Watson, regional director at responsible for the east of England, NHS England (NHSE)
We copied Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive, Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England
Typically, only the CQC acknowledged our letter.
We write from the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, the largest regional mental health campaign in the country.
We are extremely concerned about the inaction of DHSC, NHSI and NHSE over the past five years and the consequent failure to make safe mental health services provided by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). The CQC has now confirmed three times that mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk are inadequate and matters are getting worse. More than 250 extra patients have died over the past five years. The time for procrastination and unnecessary funerals is over.
We have no faith whatsoever in either the current Board under the ‘leadership’ of Antek Lejk or the so-called Improvement Director, Philippa Slinger. When there was an Improvement Director worthy of the name, he was prematurely withdrawn without consultation, leading directly to the second CQC failure and second Special Measures.
A group of us, including several bereaved parents, are travelling to London on Monday 17th December 2018 to protest outside your various offices and meet MPs at the Palace of Westminster about the on-going toleration of the mental health Mid Staffs and your lack of urgent and decisive action. We would also like to meet you. Our itinerary can be found here:
If you wish to meet us, please let us know.
Please note that we are unwilling to meet more junior members of your staff than recently met the NSFT Board. We believe that our views deserve the same institutional respect as given to those who have failed to provide safe NHS services despite being paid handsomely to do so. We are all volunteers. We can work as honourable partners in the improvement process, as we proved with the first Improvement Director, but we need to be treated with respect by the NHS ‘system’ which needs to make safety a greater priority than reputation. This is not the case currently. It is, to us, as though the Francis Report was never written.
We would be grateful if you forwarded our request and this email to Simon Stevens as Chief Executive of NHS England and Matthew Hancock as Secretary of State.
We have forwarded this email to the Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission for his information.
Thank you in advance for your attention.
Committee of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk