Inspectors return to region’s mental health trust one year after last visit

Chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Michael Scott. Photo: NSFT

Chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Michael Scott. Photo: NSFT - Credit: NSFT

Inspectors have returned to rate the region's mental health trust, a year after it was lifted out of special measures.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has been in difficulty since services were redesigned in 2012 to save money.

And this culminated in February 2015 when the regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the service as inadequate and plunged it into special measure.

But 20 months later the trust was taken one step up to 'requires improvement'.

And now inspectors have returned again.

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Michael Scott, NSFT chief executive said: 'We fully welcome the CQC inspectors into our trust and we are proud to show them the progress our staff have continued to make to improve the quality of our services since their inspection at this time last year.

'We will, of course, be answering in full any questions they have of us. We anticipate that they will be interested in discussing with us and with the CCGs, for example, the results of the recent independent review of local mental health beds, and we would expect they will want to talk to us about the extensive investments being made into improving services locally.

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'We would also expect they will be interested in looking at the initial findings of the Mazars review into our mortality figures which appear to indicate that the premature death rate of people receiving services for their mental disorder from NSFT was below national and regional averages.

'Of course, our trust and other key stakeholders who will meet the inspectors during their two-week visit will also be discussing areas where improvements are underway or still need to be made, and outlining our plans to achieve these, while demand continues to rise on all NHS services.'

Members of the Campaign to Save NHS Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, which was set up to fight cuts in the service, also met with inspectors to highlight areas they felt still needed improvement, including the number of beds available within the trust, the cutting of services and inefficiencies with where money was spent.

In its previous report, released in October last year, improvements were recognised but it was also noted there were still areas to address.

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