New chief nurse appointed for ‘inadequate’ mental health trust

Diane Hull is Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's new chief nurse Picture: DAVID REES

Diane Hull is Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's new chief nurse Picture: DAVID REES - Credit: DAVID REES

A new chief nurse appointed to the region’s mental health trust has vowed to drive safety improvements and regain people’s confidence in services.

Diane Hull will join Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) later this year from her current role st Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, where she played an instrumental role in supporting the organisation to move from an overall Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating of ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’. She has also held several senior roles at East London Foundation Trust.

Ms Hull will be responsible for improving safety and access to the services, as well as enhancing the way learning is shared across the trust when incidents occur and helping to address vacancies in the nursing workforce.

“I am really looking forward to joining NSFT. Everyone I’ve met so far has been warm and engaging, and really want to make things better for service users, carers and staff,” said Ms Hull, who has nearly 30 years’ experience of working in the NHS.

“I am completely patient-focused and want to hear from as many different patient groups, carers, staff and communities as possible so that we can really understand what they feel we are doing well and where we could further improve. They are the experts and its vital we listen to them.

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“Another priority for me will be giving people confidence in our services. It is difficult enough when you are struggling with your mental health, but must be even more challenging if you don’t feel assured about the services you are receiving because of the CQC rating. I want to be part of the solution by helping to make things better by engaging with our stakeholders and working together in partnership to drive improvements.

“It will also be vitally important for us to make sure our services are safe – until that happens, we can’t start being creative and finding innovative ways of working to benefit service users.

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“All trusts are also facing a real problem with recruitment and retention. At NSFT, we need to make sure we are offering something really exciting which enthuses people. Most importantly, we also need to look after our existing staff, make sure we truly value them and show them the appreciation they deserve for their dedication to what, at times, can be a difficult job.

“I’m realistic and recognise that there will be challenges ahead as well as opportunities, but am looking forward to cracking on and helping create the right conditions and culture so that we can make the necessary changes to improve mental healthcare for everyone in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

Ms Hull’s appointment comes shortly after NSFT recruited Stuart Richardson as chief operating officer and Duncan Forbes as director of human resources and organisational development in a bid to improve after being rated ‘inadequate’ by the CQC last year and dropping into special measures for the second time.

Antek Ljek, chief executive at NSFT, said: “We are delighted that Diane will be joining us as our chief nurse. She brings with her a wealth of leadership experience and played a vital role in driving through improvements in her current position.

“Her recruitment brings our executive team up to full strength and we look forward to welcoming her later in the year and focusing on making the long-term, sustainable changes which will make a real difference to our service users and their carers.”

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