NSFT – No Longer the Worst Mental Health Unit in England?

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The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), which last year was named as one of the worst mental health trusts, will stay in special measures, despite the Care Quality Commission (CQC) recognising that improvements have been made.

The health watchdog had rated the trust as ‘inadequate’ on three separate occasions in recent years, making it the worst performing mental health trust in the country, and the first to be put into special measures.

Recent inspections on the trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services, found it to still need improvements in four areas, however their staff received a ‘good’ rating for their care.

Fifty-percent of the trust’s areas had improved from the previous inspection, with one of the psychiatric service units being ranked as ‘outstanding.’

Following concerns over patient safety, culture and leadership, inspectors said a positive change in approach had occurred.

Despite the improvements, there continue to be long waiting lists and patient feedback has shown that poor communication is still a major issue within the unit.

With steps in the right direction being made, the performance of the trust over the next 12 months will be critical to the future of NSFT.

Sharon Allison, a partner in the medical negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “It’s encouraging to see improvements being made by NSFT in a number of areas which is testament to a positive trajectory going forward. However, we are aware of numerous patients who are not receiving much needed mental health support under the NSFT umbrella and I hope with certain changes that this improves as soon as possible.”

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