'People expect and deserve better' - MP reacts to damning CQC report

peter aldous

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has broken his silence. - Credit: Archant

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has met with the chief executive of the region's mental health trust after a damning report was published.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been downgraded to a rating of 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission - the fourth time in a decade that it has had special measures imposed on it.

Mr Aldous held a virtual meeting with the NSFT chief executive Stuart Richardson on Thursday (April 28).

He was told how they are determined to turn things around, and revealed that he'd arranged regular meetings with trust bosses to discuss progress.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Aldous said: "I read the report on Thursday morning and while there are some good points it makes for pretty grim reading.

"I can't help feel that we have been in a similar situation to this - requires improvement, inadequate to special measures - for over a decade.

"The people of Suffolk and Norfolk expect and deserve better than that.

"It is a very disappointing report."

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During the meeting, Mr Aldous was told by Trust bosses that the impact of Covid put "them under an awful lot of pressure" as staff working for NSFT had been "seconded to work for the vaccination programme."

That combined with the retirement of former chief executive Jonathan Warren, it was claimed that "there was a lack of leadership" prior to Mr Richardson's appointment.

Mr Aldous spoke at length with the trust about the the two units supported in Waveney and Great Yarmouth - the Dragonfly Unit in Carlton Colville and Northgate in Yarmouth.

He added: "It will be a challenge and a long journey - a journey that has been done before - but I have been heartened by the meeting and the recognition from the trust that they are determined to put them right.

"Teams from NHS England and NHS improvement are working with the trust to get them to ensure a proper and sustainable improvement takes place.

"There's lots of people on the frontline working for the NSFT doing great work."

Mr Aldous has now arranged to have "regular meetings" with Mr Richardson and Trust bosses, and they will meet again in three months time "to see how they have been getting on."