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Revealed: The changes taking place at the region’s mental health trust in bid to improve

Julie Cave, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) chief executive. Photo: NSFT

Julie Cave, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) chief executive. Photo: NSFT

NSFT

The boss of the region’s failing mental health trust has set out areas the organisation will focus on in order to recover.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) was plunged into special measures last month, but new chief executive Julie Cave has for the first time has revealed the steps she is taking to ensure improvements.

Getting the basics right

Mrs Cave said to deliver outstanding services, NSFT needs to “get the basics right first time, and every time”.

She said: “We must ensure that our staff understand what good and consistent practice means in practical terms; why they must work this way; and they also understand what the consequences are if those standards are not met consistently.”

Professional standards

She said the staff and services were “realigning” to professional standards set nationally. She added: “Discussions have already been taking place with frontline teams about the standards they will be expected to meet from now on. Meeting these is a priority; meeting any other standards we set ourselves in addition, come after that.”

Strengthened role of matrons

Mrs Cave said: “We are going back to the more traditional matron role on the wards and in our community services.

“Our matrons will have more autonomy and a stronger role than before. They will be responsible for the environment and making sure things are safe and clean, and for keeping an eye that professional standards are being met, along with local managers.”

Reviewing processes

Mrs Cave said processes and policies were being reviewed.

She added: “We will do our best to get rid of the unnecessary, time consuming, duplication so staff can get on with the job.”

As well as appointing a chief clinical information officer, Mrs Cave said: “We have agreed investment in additional admin staff to support our clinicians, while improvements to our electronic patient records are underway.”

Ligatures

Mrs Cave said: “Although a huge amount of work has already been done on ligatures - around £2.2m of improvements in the past two years and more underway - we are already revisiting our risk assessment processes on this.”

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