While Monitor did turn down our foundation trust application, this should not detract from the fact that we are already one of the best-performing mental health trusts in the country. We hold 'excellent' and 'good' Healthcare Commission ratings and have a track record of delivery against our targets.
Monitor's decision has created a very real awareness of the areas in which assessment must focus, and we will deal comprehensively with those before making a renewed application in due course, with the support of our local partners. We did not, as your article suggests, request a deferral on this occasion, because we were of the belief that this was not an option open to us.
We fully accept that some of the issues raised will take more time to resolve than a normal deferral period would allow, but this awareness has developed based on Monitor's feedback to us.
Inevitably, after such a decision, speculation develops about the future, and I want to reassure all of our service users and our staff that we will continue to focus on providing the best quality of services we can, within available resources, and that we will emerge from this experience stronger and better for it.
Mike Shewan, chief executive, Derbyshire Mental Health Services trust