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Improvements showcased during Mental Health Network Chief Executive visit

​The Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network visited Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) on 31 March, to see first-hand the improvements which have been made and discuss the best ways to lobby for fairer funding.

Stephen Dalton met Michael Scott, NSFT Chief Executive, at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich before visiting the Trust’s Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit and Wellbeing service to meet staff and hear more about their work.

Mr Dalton also heard more about the range of improvements introduced across services since the CQC inspection in 2014, which have included initiatives to reduce out of area placements and the use of temporary staff and improved use of seclusion and restraint. In addition, he also discussed ways in which mental health trusts can work together to lobby for fairer funding from the Government.

Mr Dalton, who is a member of several national policy groups and joined the Network in 2013 after holding Chief Executive roles in the NHS for 17 years, said: “The Mental Health Network represents over 95% of mental health service providers in England and is rooted in a long history of being a membership body. 

“For me and the team to authentically represent the voice of leaders and clinicians, it’s important we stay close to the frontline of provision. Visits, such as to Norfolk and Suffolk, are very important and shape the advice and messages we give Ministers and senior policy leaders.”

The Mental Health Network is the voice for NHS-funded mental health and learning disability service providers in England. As well as representing NHS providers from across the statutory, independent and third sectors, it also works with government, regulators, opinion formers, media and the wider NHS to promote excellence in mental health services and the importance of good mental health.

“We were delighted that Stephen came to visit our Trust, as it gave us the opportunity to show him the progress of the improvements we have made,” said Mr Scott.

“We continue to press for more resources for mental health services and I also discussed with Stephen the most effective way to lobby for increased funding on a national level. By joining other mental health trusts across the country, our message for more resources will be more powerful.”