Suffolk User Forum’s response to CQC’s inspection report on Norfolk and Suffolk’s NHS Foundation Trust

Suffolk User Forum (SUF) is the voice of people who use mental health services in East and West Suffolk.

Today SUF responded to the publication of the latest CQC report on Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) which rated the Trust’s services as ‘Requiring Improvement’ and which confirmed that the Trust would stay in Special Measures.

Jayne Stevens, CEO of SUF said,

“We are concerned that although there may be some improvement in the Trust`s performance, service users in Suffolk continue to receive inferior care. Feedback from service users and family carers continue to report very few observable improvements, with 74% of people reporting negative experiences about NSFT services. We recognise the hard work of front-line staff at NSFT. The report confirms that they are caring and working under difficult conditions. We also recognise the commitment to improve services amongst senior managers and the board and so it is disappointing that, although some progress has been made, in many important areas service users are still being let down.”

“From our conversations with people who use NSFT’s services we know that there are key areas that give rise to urgent concern and these are echoed in today’s report.

  • Access issues into NSFT services and waiting times
  • Quality of service received
  • Care Planning
  • Risk management and crisis planning
  • Discharge planning
  • People stating, they have not felt listened to or understood.

“Whilst we appreciate the pressure on NSFT’s services, these same pressures affect mental health trusts across England. We can see no reason why Suffolk service users should continue to receive deficient care, particularly since they have no choice but to access NSFT’s services and particularly since this situation now dates back over half a decade to 2014.”

“We think it is only right to insist that people in Suffolk receive the same good quality care as is available in the rest of England.”

“The best mental health trusts design and evaluate their services in genuine partnership with service users and this will be essential to NSFT’s journey out of special measures. We will continue to offer our support to the Trust in this regard and we call on the Trust and on all local agencies to accelerate, as a matter of urgency, their work in addressing the shortcomings identified in today’s report.”