PERFORMANCE: Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust has been appointed to ‘buddy’ Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, the first mental health trust to have been placed into special measures.

Staff at Nottinghamshire Healthcare will now “work with Norfolk and Suffolk to improve its services and staffing levels”, Monitor said in a statement.

Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust

The CQC had indentified low staff morale and lack of support at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust

It continued: “Access to this advice and expertise will enable Norfolk and Suffolk to adopt best practice and support the significant changes in care needed for its mental health and learning disability patients.”

Monitor placed Norfolk and Suffolk FT in special measures in February after it was rated as “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC inspectors “identified several areas of concern where the trust must make improvements”, including low staff morale, lack of senior leadership support towards staff and a lack of availability of beds

Monitor appointed Alan Yates as the trust’s improvement director shortly after it entered special measures

Meanwhile, Monitor has today also taken action against nearby Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

The trust has agreed legally binding steps with the regulator to help reduce its waiting times for accident and emergency, routine operations and cancer care patients.

It must now develop and implement an operational improvement plan and a “robust” long term strategic plan.

Monitor has added a further condition to the trust’s licence requiring an improvement in the effectiveness of its board. This will enable the regulator to take further action if necessary.

The decision follows an investigation into the trust’s poor performance against a number of national waiting time targets, launched in December.