Concerns remain over failing mental health trust
A whistle-blower at a failing mental health trust – the first in England ever to be placed in special measures – says staff are still firefighting to keep patients safe.
He told a mental health expert he had suicidal thoughts, but faced a month-long wait to see a specialist at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust.
The care he received was criticised by a coroner. Two years on, his mother, Donna, is still haunted by the way he died.
She said: “I think the hardest thing for me is the last picture you have is when we had to identify his body.
“When I sleep that’s the picture I see.”
In February, the regulatory body the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust and deemed it to be unsafe.
It identified a number of serious issues, including concerns about the safety of services, staffing levels and leadership at the trust.
A director was then attached to the trust to oversee an improvement plan.
The trust says it is receiving support from a director of improvement previously employed to help turn around Mid Staffs – the trust at the centre of one of the worst hospital scandals to hit the NHS.
In a statement, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust said: “The Board knows what is important, understands where they got it wrong and are putting it right.
“They will continue to listen, learn and improve and will ensure that the Trust offers high quality and safe services.
“We have announced extra investment in recruiting more staff, and opened additional beds in central Norfolk.”
It also stressed that things would change as best and as quickly as they could within their limited resources.