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Crunch meeting with MPs about failing mental health trust ‘due before Christmas’

PUBLISHED: 17:31 05 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:58 06 December 2018

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin wants swift action to be taken over the future of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin wants swift action to be taken over the future of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Picture: ARCHANT

MPs in Suffolk and Norfolk hope to meet with regulators over the future of the region’s crisis-hit mental health trust before Christmas, it has emerged.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey Picture: GREGG BROWNSuffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey Picture: GREGG BROWN

Earlier this week Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey put forward the possibility of such a discussion happening this morning.

But her office has since clarified this was not formally scheduled, and did not take place.

Now it is hoped MPs will demand answers over the fate of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) at a later date.

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis wants NSFT to go into special administration. Photo: PANorwich South MP Clive Lewis wants NSFT to go into special administration. Photo: PA

Organisations involved aim to schedule a meeting before Christmas, it is understood.

MPs will meet with representatives from NHS Improvement, NSFT and the Care Quality Commission to discuss a forward plan, after the trust was ranked ‘inadequate’ for a third time.

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin stressed the importance of crunch talks happening quickly, adding: “It is absolutely crucial we have a meeting as soon as possible to discuss what is going to happen with the NSFT.

Dr Paul Lelliott, Care Quality Commission. Photo: Philip WolmuthDr Paul Lelliott, Care Quality Commission. Photo: Philip Wolmuth

“The situation is dire, and needs to be resolved by January at the very latest.”

Questions have been asked over whether strong enough action has been taken thus far, considering the organisation has now failed multiple times.

Clive Lewis, Labour’s Norwich South MP, demanded NSFT be placed in special administration – a classification kept strictly for the very worst of health organisations, and used just twice before.

Health secretary Matt Hancock arriving in Downing Street. He is being urged to take action after a third CQC report ranked the region's mental health service 'inadequate' Picture: PA / Stefan RousseauHealth secretary Matt Hancock arriving in Downing Street. He is being urged to take action after a third CQC report ranked the region's mental health service 'inadequate' Picture: PA / Stefan Rousseau

Last week Dr Paul Lelliot, England’s chief inspector of hospitals at the CQC, said the organisation had not yet ruled out special administration.

West Suffolk MP and health secretary Matt Hancock also admitted this in an interview with this newspaper.

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