Poor mental health trust 'still has a way to go’

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, dubbed England's worst mental health trust, will remain in special measures, despite the CQC finding improvements in care.

Inspectors found the trust required improvement in four areas, but rated it ‘good’ for its caring staff. NSFT has previously been rated as Inadequate by the CQC three times in recent years. It remains the only mental health trust in the country to have been placed in special measures, a step first taken in February 2015.

Of the 48 areas examined, the trust was deemed to have improved in 22, remained the same in 21 and is now performing worse in five. One service, The Dragonfly Unit at Carlton Colville, is now rated as Outstanding.

Jonathan Warren, NSFT chief executive, said: "This is a move in the right direction and is down to the hard work and dedication of staff. We are also starting to see some of the improvements we are putting in place come to fruition. However, we are under no illusions and recognise that the next 12 months and beyond are crucial in not only fully embedding changes already made, but in building upon them so that next time we are inspected, we have shown further significant improvement.

"Our improvement plan, which has regular oversight by our regulators, will now be refreshed and informed by working closely with all our services to determine our priorities for the next six months. Our ambition remains for NSFT to deliver high quality and effective services for our patients and be in the top quarter of mental health trusts nationally for quality and safety by 2023 and the CQC confirms we have made a good start."

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