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Doreen Livermore case: Mental health trust has messed up its own message

PUBLISHED: 08:48 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:48 24 January 2020

An NSFT communications manager gloated that the mental health trust had

An NSFT communications manager gloated that the mental health trust had "got away" with media coverage over the death of Doreen Livermore. Photo: Livermore Family

Archant

Over the past few years of its troubled recent history, the region's mental health trust has consistently said that it takes on board lessons from patient deaths.

The NSFT's communications manager said the death of Terry Jones (right) had helped the organisation The NSFT's communications manager said the death of Terry Jones (right) had helped the organisation "get away" with coverage over the deaths of two dementia sufferers Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

The Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) keeps telling the public it wants to be open with them.

But an email sent accidentally on Thursday morning to this newspaper has massively undermined that message.

In it, a communications manager tells two of his colleagues that the NSFT has "got away" "virtually unscathed" in media coverage of the deaths of two dementia patients.

He tells his boss how the BBC failed to mention the NSFT in its reporting on the case and then says they may have been "saved" by the death of actor Terry Jones.

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The NSFT is meant to be the champion of mental health and yet one of its managers states the death of a famous actor, who had dementia, helped save them from bad publicity.

This gives the impression that the NSFT's primary concern is its reputation - not the care of patients.

Of course an organisation should not be judged from what one employee sends in an email.

But not only does the email undermine the NSFT's message, but in trying to protect its reputation, the sender has undermined the hard work of its staff and disrespected patients and their families.

Doreen Livermore lived in Essex but moved to Amberley Hall in King's Lynn in 2009. Photo: ArchantDoreen Livermore lived in Essex but moved to Amberley Hall in King's Lynn in 2009. Photo: Archant

The trust has now said publicly that the email was inappropriate and it is taking action.

It criticised the email after being contacted by this newspaper, but had it not been accidentally forwarded to us, we doubt any action would have been taken by them.

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