The Thick of: NSFT Comms advertises another £105,060 of jobs

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) used to have a handful of people in its Communications department before the disastrous ‘radical redesign’.

However, as NSFT has cut mental health services and made front line staff redundant, its Comms department has grown and grown.

We’ve been tipped off by a supporter about another £105,060 per year of Comms recruitment by NSFT on NHS Jobs. That’s more than the disbanded Homeless team used to cost.

When we first saw the advertisement for the Comms Manager post, we thought, rather naively, that the Comms Manager who loyally followed her Chief Executive, Michael Scott, from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust to NSFT, Lisa Mungham-Gray, might be leaving NSFT. But, no. Reading the Job Description, the advertised Communications Manager (Band 7) reports to the Deputy Head of Communications & Marketing (Band 8a/b?) who reports to the Head of Communications & Marketing (Band 8c/d or 9?) who we presume is Ms Mungham-Gray. NSFT is spending at least £140,000 per year on Communications management alone and probably much, much more. Perhaps, like Mr Scott, Ms Mungham-Gray received a twenty-five per cent pay riseMichael Scott hardly has a track record of keeping bureaucratic salaries under control.

We don’t know how many other Communications Officers and Senior Communications Officers the two more junior new recruits will be sitting alongside but it is a substantial empire Ms Mungham-Gray appears to have built.

Back in June 2014, when the NSFT Board meeting at Swaffham decided to massively increase its spending on Comms, we warned that NSFT’s priority should be investment in front line services not empire-building in the Hellesdon Hospital management blocks; that the ‘PR crisis’ was caused by managerial incompetence and the lack of staff, beds and funding not the absence of a ‘Comms strategy’. We were ignored.

It would be enough to leave even Malcolm Tucker lost for words.



85 thoughts on “The Thick of: NSFT Comms advertises another £105,060 of jobs”

  1. Why don’t they get rid of the dead wood, expensive executives who award themselves excessive pay rises, haven’t got a clue what the service needs ?-permanent Mental Health nurses, Doctors, Reliable CMHT with their own budgets not having to go cap in hand to Social Services, More Crisis Workers, More Beds etc. Also get rid of 4 out of the five CCGs who cost an arm and a leg and argue amongst themselves and have meetings about meetings, ONE WOULD SUFFICE WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM EACH AREA IN NORFOLK. This would free up money for Mental Health and GPS.
    2pm – MIDNIGHT MONDAY TO FRIDAY AND 24hrs FRIDAY TO SUNDAY MIDNIGHT. They have proved themselves in saving money and only referring where necessary.

  2. When is this ever going to stop. The bleeding dry of a fragile, dying trust is an atrocity. Communication manager….what the f*** is that all about? £105,000….disgrace, absolute disgrace! How do these people sleep at night knowing that they are racking in money for communicating nothing. Yet more over paid underworked executives, and I say the word very very loosely. Where are the crisis teams, what happened to the Mind Mental Health Line, what about staff and heaven forbid more beds so our service users don’t have to be inpatient a million miles away from their homes and loved ones. I used to be so proud to work for NSFT….ashamed now to even admit it.

  3. This is another example of poor management and poorly considered priorities. If you read the press releases about NSFT you would think it the best in the country, when in reality it is the worst. £105,000 would pay for 3 nurses. Front line services should be a priority. Sufficient beds to keep people safe should be a priority. More doctors not spin doctors should be a priority. Is there anyone in the management team who questions how the budget is spent? It’s a disgrace.

  4. Surely this information should be released to the media. If the public knew how their money was being wasted, there would be an outcry. Boards of Directors who are ‘establishment’ people, already secure and living on substantial pensions should be replaced with people who know the value of money and have to be careful when they spend it.

  5. Here we go again. Talk about missing the point.

    Whether it is new jobs or filling old ones, before TSS NSFT spent half as much on Comms as it does now. The Board decided to double the money wasted on spin doctors while cutting services to the point of collapse. You only have to look at the number of deputies and managers in Comms (and the way staff don’t stay) to see how effective it is.

    NSFT’s former newsletter, Insight, has grown to the size of an old-skool full-colour Littlewoods catalogue rather the two sheets of A3 folded into a newletter produced by most trusts. Yet the EADT was complaining recently it could not even get a response from Comms to a news story. Obviously, the managers and ‘Heads of’ were too busy and important to talk to a mere journalist.

    For the price of these spin jobs, you could reinstate the homeless team in Norwich and have money to spare to deliver extra resources on the coast and in Ipswich. But NSFT would rather spend money on a Kays catalogue full of propaganda than employ CPNs to deliver front line services to those most in need.

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