Norfolk and Suffolk disgraced: The rationing of service delivery in psychiatry is surreptitious and slow, and is only made public by scandalous reports exposing disgraceful levels of care.

The rationing of service delivery in psychiatry is surreptitious and slow, and is only made public by scandalous reports exposing disgraceful levels of care.

David Powles and Tom Bristow report in the Eastern Daily Press 2nd July 2015: Damning contents of staff report into problems within Norfolk and Suffolk’s mental health trust

Today, bosses at the trust, which still faces financial problems, insisted many lessons had been learned since the report and that a ‘lessons learned’ paper from it was being used as a check-list to ensure they didn’t make the same mistakes again.

The NSFT report, written in 2014 following surveys of staff within the recently formed Norwich-based Central Adult Service Line, reveals:

– An increase in fatalities, with over-worked staff feeling they would be blamed if things went wrong

– Excessive caseloads, with some staff having to cope with more than 60 patients on their books at a time

– Hundreds of unallocated cases, meaning needy mental health patients are going un-assessed and untreated

– Concerns the use of agency staff was hindering the service

– Low staff morale, motivation, high stress and a bullying culture

The report’s author, Marie Alexander, acting clinical education lead for the trust, concludes: “It was clear that a number of staff did not feel able to function effectively.

“They were largely disengaged, disempowered and believed that clinical and service-user safety was being compromised and that no-one with the ability to affect change was listening to them.”…..

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Medical Education, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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