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Trust to withdraw from mutual project
13/02/2015

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has today announced its withdrawal from the Mutuals in Health Pathfinder Project. 

Michael Scott, Chief Executive of the Trust, explained that following feedback from staff, and in light of its other priorities, last week members of the Board had reviewed NSFT's part in Pathfinder.

"There has been a level of misunderstanding about the project and the aims of our Trust in taking part. We can see that this has led to concern among our staff about a risk of 'privatisation of the NHS'," he said.

"We are clear that our Trust’s priorities are improving the quality of our services and improving staff morale, by making the Trust a better place to work. Anything that might create a distraction to these priorities is not for us at this time. 

"As a result the Trust has decided to withdraw from the project.

"We know that being truly visible leaders who are ready to listen and respond, as well as lead our staff, has to be our approach moving forward and we hope that this, in some way, reassures them that their views are being heard."

Michael went on to explain that the Trust had a responsibility to inform and discuss its decision with the Cabinet Office, which leads the scheme, and with its regulator, Monitor, before it could make its announcement to staff today. 

"We also understand that this week UNISON representatives took a vote to establish its position on 'mutual status' and voted in opposition to it. So, collectively we believe we are all now on the same page in discontinuing our involvement in the project. 

"As a Trust we know where we are and we know where we need to be, and we will be working with our staff, our commissioners and partners, including our union colleagues, to get NSFT firmly back on track for the benefit of our services users and for the people who work for us," he added. ​