Health watchdog urges mental health trust to improve community services in Norfolk and Suffolk

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Recovery College celebration event at Dunston Hall. Speaker Jane Sayer,

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Recovery College celebration event at Dunston Hall. Speaker Jane Sayer, director of nursing, quality and patient safety. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

A mental health trust has been urged to improve the standard of community-based support after a survey of patients ranked Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust near the bottom of a national league table.

Officials from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said the mental health trust for Norfolk and Suffolk had high numbers of 'worse than expected' results from the survey, which was conducted by the health watchdog earlier this year.

More than 250 patients using community services at NSFT responded to the questionnaire with less than half saying that they did not know who had been in charge of their care for the last 12 months and half said they did not receive the help they needed when in a crisis.

Officials from NSFT welcomed the results and said they fell within the national average in six of the nine categories.

Jane Sayer, director of nursing said: 'We really value the views of the people who use our services and this survey highlights the areas we need to improve on. The feedback shows our patients feel they have not been as involved in their care has much as they would like, and it's clear that service users feel it has been harder to know who is in charge of their care. The focus for us now is to take these views on board and improve our community services for the benefit of our patients.'

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More than 13,500 people took part in the national survey involving 57 health trusts and officials from the CQC warned that poor performance and a failure to act on the findings could affect ratings when inspectors visit NSFT next month.

Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals (lead for mental health), said: 'It is clear from this survey that many people do not feel well-served by community mental health services. Leaders and staff from mental health trusts should reflect on what they could do differently and better to ensure people are engaged effectively and involved in their care and take action to ensure that people get the help and support they need.'

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