23 February 2015
Monitor has placed Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust into special measures, but health expert Paul Ridout says this is not necessarily a bad thing.
The first mental health trust to be put into special measures, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust received an overall rating of ‘inadequate’ from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this year, in January 2015.
The CQC identified a number of problems, including the need for urgent improvements to patient care, safety of services, staffing levels and leadership.
Following the CQC’s findings, Monitor is ensuring that improvements are made at the trust, which includes tailored support – an Improvement Director will be appointed to provide expertise and hold the trust to account, and a partnership with a high-performing trust will also be arranged.
Speaking to Governance + Compliance, Paul Ridout, Senior Partner at Ridouts law firm, said: ‘Placing Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust into special measures may sound like it is a bad thing, and that the NHS is yet again failing, but in fact it is a positive step. It shows that Monitor is helping the trust in supporting compliance and improving governance.
‘Adding a board member solely responsible for the improvement and raising of standards of a trust can only be a good thing. It shows the NHS is actively trying to support ailing trusts and turn them around.’
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.’