Health trust in special measures

Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A mental health trust has become the first in the country to be put into special measures, the health sector regulator has said.

Urgent improvements are needed to the care patients receive at.Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Monitor said.

The move comes after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave the trust an overall rating of inadequate earlier this month after identifying a number of serious problems, including concerns about the safety of services, staffing levels and leadership.

The trust provides a wide range of health and social care services, specialising in mental health and wellbeing, according to its website.

Monitor said that, in response to the CQC inspection’s finding, it has put the trust into special measures so it can receive tailored support to address the challenges it faces.

This will include appointing an improvement director to provide expertise and hold the trust to account, and arranging it to be buddied with a high-performing trust.

New conditions on Norfolk and Suffolk’s licence means Monitor can also replace members of the trust’s leadership team if the required improvements are not made.

Katherine Cawley, regional director at Monitor, said: “Patients in Norfolk and Suffolk deserve to receive the highest possible care, and so the failings that the CQC has identified in the trust’s services are disappointing.

“We are pleased that the trust has already started to address some of the issues raised by the CQC, but much more needs to be done. That’s why we have put Norfolk and Suffolk into special measures, to ensure that it gets the extra help and support it needs to make the improvements that are required.”

The trust’s chief executive Michael Scott said: “Although disappointing, it is not a surprise to us, coming as it does after the CQC’s recommendations were made in January. But as we made clear then, we recognise we need to improve the care we provide and we need to carefully manage our finances to a healthier position.

“We will achieve this by working closely with our staff and Monitor to address the issues we face.

“We have already started down the road to recovery and we welcome the additional support we’ll get through this process. We will be learning from other organisations and every single member of staff at this trust will have a part to play in getting us back on track.”

Published: Thursday 19th February 2015 by The News Editor

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