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Good work showcased during national Director’s visit

​The NHS’s National Mental Health Director has visited Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to find out more about some of its most innovative services while seeing first-hand the improvements which have been made.

Claire Murdoch met NSFT Chief Executive Michael Scott at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich on Tuesday (25 October) before listening to presentations about the Trust’s Wellbeing and Compass services and visiting the Whitlingham ward to meet staff.

She also heard more about the range of improvements which were introduced ahead of the CQC’s re-inspection earlier this year, while also discussing research carried out by NSFT which shows the historic under-funding of mental health services.

Ms Murdoch, who has been a registered mental health nurse for 34 years, was appointed as NHS National Mental Health Director in June. She divides her time between the national role and remains Chief Executive of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, which provides both mental health and community services.

“Claire’s visit was a great success which will help to put NSFT on the map and attract national recognition for some of the good work which is taking place at our Trust,” said Mr Scott.

“We hope that it will also open the door for us to get more involved in some of the exciting new initiatives which are happening nationally and could directly benefit our service users.

“Claire was impressed by the good practice she saw during her visit, and was particularly keen to congratulate staff on the improvements which have taken place and thank them for their hard work, which resulted in coming out of special measures so quickly.

“Her visit gave us the chance to showcase some of our most innovative services. This included our new-look Wellbeing Services, which provide support to people with anxiety and depression, and Compass, which finds creative ways to help vulnerable families overcome complex relationship and behavioural difficulties.

“She was also interested in the work taking place at the Whitlingham Ward to introduce a new model of care which blends low and medium secure services together, as well as hearing how the ward became one of our most improved after it was rated by the CQC as ‘good’.

“In addition, Claire was very clear that mental healthcare needs more funding, and took away the research we have done to share with colleagues nationally.”

For more information about NSFT’s Wellbeing Services, which are available across both Norfolk and Suffolk, visit