NSFT’s ‘Mortality Review ‘report consists of thousands of expensively commissioned words explicitly dodging the big questions to which we still desperately need answers. Just how many people in the care of NSFT have needlessly died? And how bad is the Trust compared to its peers across the country?
Alarmingly, the Review says it can’t trust “the accuracy and integrity of NSFT’s mortality data”. After four failed CQC inspections, we already knew NSFT has too few staff and beds and sends too many people miles away for treatment. It now seems the Trust count can’t count properly either.
That’s not only profoundly disrespectful to everyone who’s lost a loved one, it’s also very difficult to believe. Local mental health campaigners have scoured the Trust’s very own publicly available figures and found reference to at least a thousand ‘excess deaths’.
I’ve been one of many tearing my hair out as the Trust has kept on doing the same things repeatedly but seemingly expecting different outcomes. Why can’t they ever learn? The Review concludes one of the reasons for that is the Trust has been collecting mortality data and doing the equivalent of stuffing it in the desk drawer without asking themselves what it actually means.
For over a decade now, people in Norwich have needed safe, effective, timely mental health services. Too many have died waiting for care. I know so many staff who’ve had to walk away because they’ve burnt out from years of trying to do more and more with less.
Hundreds of thousands of words have been written about the local mental health crisis and the failings of NSFT, without very much changing for years on end. We can add today’s review to the pile.
We need to make a decisive break from that legacy of failure. And that still means an independent public inquiry into the system-wide breakdown of local mental health care.