Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust appoints new head

Woman sitting Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The Care Quality Commission rated the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust as inadequate

England's worst-performing mental health trust has appointed a new chairwoman, who will continue to work for another health trust.

Marie Gabriel CBE has joined Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), which was rated inadequate for a third time in November.

Ms Gabriel is chair of East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT), which is rated outstanding by inspectors.

Last year health inspectors said patients had been "failed" by NSFT.

The East London trust has been "buddying" with NSFT, which provides mental health and learning disability services across Norfolk and Suffolk, since it was placed into special measures for the second time in 2017.

Ms Gabriel has been chairwoman of ELFT since October 2012, and has more than 20 years of experience in senior roles within local government and the third sector.

"It is a huge honour to be joining NSFT as chair and to be strengthening the support provided by ELFT," she said.

Image copyright NSFT
Image caption Marie Gabriel CBE has been appointed as the new chairwoman of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Antek Lejk, chief executive of NSFT, said: "We will work closely with Marie and learn from the best practice which is in place at ELFT as we continue to transform our trust so that we can ensure we are providing safe, effective care for everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk."

Last year Care Quality Inspection (CQC) inspectors revealed a catalogue of problems at the East Anglia trust which saw patients had tried to take their lives waiting for care, acute wards were unsafe and the trust was seriously understaffed.

Only adolescent and child mental health wards were rated "outstanding".

NSFT is the only mental health trust in the country to have been put into special measures, a step first taken in February 2015.

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