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Mental health boss pledges to put things right after damning third 'inadequate' CQC report in a meeting held today

The boss of a mental health trust rated 'inadequate' for the third time has pledged to 'aim for excellence' after being grilled by the public at a meeting in Bury St Edmunds.

Antek Lejk, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I am starting off with apologies for every service user who has suffered, and hasn't had the service that should have come from us. It is something we want to put right. We do want to move forward."

He was speaking at a meeting of the trust's board of directors at the Athenaeum today, following the publication of a damning CQC report, which rated the trust inadequate for the third time in four years.

Antek Lejk, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
Antek Lejk, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Lejk also answered questions from directors and members of the public.

The trust remains in special measures after it was rated inadequate for three of the four key areas, including, safe services, responsive services and well-led services.

Mr Lejk added: "Our biggest problems are people who cannot get into our services.

"I don't want staff to be demoralised."

The previous chair and executive director of the trust, Gary Page, left the organisation last week, days before the CQC report was published. He was due to leave the trust next year, but stepped down early.

Tim Newcomb, current chair, said: "He [Gary Page] reached the stage where he felt he wanted to move aside to take things forward."

Key points highlighted in the report included, 'vacancies remained high particularly for nursing and medical staff' and 'managers did not ensure that learning from incidents was shared and embedded across the trust'. The report maintains that 'all of these issues had been raised with the trust during previous inspections'.

On tackling the problems, Mr Lejk, said: "We have to fix some things quickly.

"Immediately we must rescue parts which are at most harm.

"We have people in crisis not able to access our services, we need to put the basics right first."

He also said that the quality safety structure of the organisation is wrong and that leadership needed to drive change.

By December Mr Lejk expressed that he wanted to fix the immediate issues, by spring he wanted the basics in place and to embed quality improvement and by October next year, aim for excellence.

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