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Mental Health Trust condemned as inadequate

The CQC has published a damning report on the Norfolk and Suffolk Healthcare Trust Photo: CQC

A health watchdog has recommended the Norfolk and Suffolk Healthcare Trust is placed in special measures after branding them as inadequate

The Care Quality Commission found the trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to a large population across Norfolk and Suffolk, needed to make a number of improvements to ensure it was consistently delivering care which was safe, effective, responsive to people’s needs, in services which were well led. The inspection was carried out in October 2014.

The concerns and the recommendation have been referred to Monitor, the sector regulator for health services in England.

The trust was rated as Inadequate with regard to whether services were safe and well-led, requires Improvement with regard to whether services were effective and responsive and Good with regards to whether services were caring. Its overall rating was Inadequate.

CQC identified several areas of concern where the trust must make improvements. These included:

  • Staff morale was very low across many areas of the trust and concerns were highlighted about the lack of senior leadership support towards staff.
  • A lack of availability of beds meant that people did not always receive the right care at the right time and sometimes people were moved, discharged early or managed within an inappropriate service.
  • Wards managed by the trust must meet guidance on same-sex accommodation whilst promoting safety and dignity.
  • The trust must provide sufficient personal alarms for staff and visitors and carry out and document regular checks of emergency equipment.
  • The trust must ensure that seclusion facilities are safe and appropriate and that seclusion and restraint are managed within the safeguards of national guidance.
  • • All staff including bank and agency staff must complete statutory, mandatory and specialist training where necessary.
  • • The trust must provide sufficient personal alarms for staff and visitors and carry out and document regular checks of emergency equipment.

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals said

“We found a number of serious problems when we inspected the services run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and we have made a recommendation to Monitor that the trust is placed into special measures. We have informed Monitor of the breaches and it will make sure these are appropriately addressed and that progress is monitored through the special measures action plan

– Dr Paul Lelliot, CQC

Click below to see Malcolm Robertson's report