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Mental health service remains in special measures

Mental health service remains in special measures

Published by Grace Mcgachy
5:29am 15th January 2020.

The Trust that provides Norfolk's mental health services has been rated "Requires Improvement" by the CQC.

This time last year the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust they had the lowest rating available - inadequate.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the mental health Trust in October and November last year and today gave its verdict, saying out of 48 areas examined it had improved in 22, stayed the same in 21 and was worse in five. 

norfolk and suffolk nhs foundation trust


The inspectors felt some improvements had been made which is a "step in the right direction".

However, they are still keeping it under review - and feel "more work needs to be done".

CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (and lead for mental health), Dr Paul Lelliott, said:

“On our return to Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust we found that insufficient improvements had been made and we still had significant concerns."

Overall, NSFT is now "Outstanding" in one service (The Dragonfly Unit at Carlton Colville - a young people's psychiatric unit - which was rated in 2018), "Good" in four, five "Require Improvement", and one is "Inadequate" out of its 11 core services.

NSFT scored particularly highly in older people's services, both on wards and in the community, where they were consistently rated "Good". Also, staff were rated "Good" for being caring in seven out of eight areas.

Although they're moving in the right direction, Dr Dan Dalton says they've still got a long way to go:

"Requires improvement isn't good enough.

What we want to do is offer services to people the people of Norfolk and Suffolk that are Good and Outstanding and what's really clear is that some people within our organisation are still not seeing the benefit of any improvement and it will take a while for us to build on what we've acheived so far and really delvier the kind of care that we want.

But we are delighted that the CQC have recognised some of the really hard work that's going on to make care better for people in our services."

depressed child

"As a whole, the orgasnisation has taken a really hard look at itself and over the course of the last 6 months we've reorganised our entire structure so that we've put clinicians in charge of the services we deliver so that the peopel who are deciding and planning what services we offer are actually the people who deliver care and treatment.

The other thing we've worked really hard on is making sure that people get the care they need in the pace they need so we've been working really hard to drive out the number of people who have had to go out of county to receive care and treatment and we're making great steps in that direction.

But we still have people that are out of county and that's not good enough.

One service - specialist community mental health services for children and young people - was rated "Inadequate" overall. 

"People are working incredibly hard and I think that across the whole country, people are seeing more and more people are coming in need of help is in children and young persons services and the fact that there's that increased demand doesn't mean that we can sit back and say well that's the reason that we're struggling and we do have to keep looking at ourselves and say we're not delivering the kind of responsive care and treatment for children and young people in Norfolk and Waveny in particular and we're determined to tackle that.

That's going to be a real focus for us now."

NSFT became the only mental health Trust to be placed in special measures in 2015, but was taken out a year later and then placed back in again during 2017. 

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