Norfolk and Suffolk Mental Health Trust still 'requires improvement'

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image captionThe Care Quality Commission placed the Trust in special measures in 2015

A mental health trust which last year pledged to change its culture amid bullying complaints has made progress, but still "requires improvement" according to inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust had "made significant improvements".

However, the inspectors said it "did not always manage risks well".

The trust said it recognised "the challenges in the report".

The inspections, which took place in November 2020, were carried out in response to potential risks to patient safety.

The CQC's head of hospital inspection, Stuart Dunn, said failings to manage risks had led to patients self-harming and having to wait too long for assessment, while comprehensive medical records were not always maintained.

The CQC looked at the trust's acute wards for working-aged adults, which provide psychiatric intensive care, and its mental health crisis service.

These services are provided from locations including Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich, Northgate Hospital in Great Yarmouth and the Woodlands unit at Ipswich Hospital.

image captionThe Trust is based at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich

Both services were rated 'requires improvement' - the same rating they received in October 2019.

The inspections were not wide-ranging enough to update the trust's overall rating, which also remains as 'requires improvement'.

The trust has been rated "inadequate" three times in recent years and in 2015 became the first mental health trust to be placed in special measures.

Mr Dunn said he welcomed improvements at the trust, but added it had "further work to do to ensure these services meet standards that people should be able to expect".

He said positives included "an improving culture" and "clean and well-equipped" patient areas.

Chief nurse Diane Hull said the trust was "pleased the CQC recognised the efforts of our hardworking staff and recognised improvements".

She said staffing had been increased and an additional 20 beds for older adults in Norwich provided.

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