Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust appoints new chief executive

A mental health trust criticised over its recording of patient deaths said its new chief executive would remain in post for at least 12 months.

Caroline Donovan has been appointed to lead Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) after Stuart Richardson leaves at the end of October.

His departure follows a highly critical report into the way NSFT managed its mortality data.

It was claimed it was toned down to protect management.

NSFT has had issues with continuity in its leadership, having had six chief executive officers in the past six years.

Ms Donovan previously ran Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

NSFT chair, Zoe Billingham, told a council of governors’ meeting that the new chief had “stepped into arguably one of the most difficult roles in the NHS”.

Ms Billingham, who praised Mr Richardson’s achievements, also acknowledged it had been “a difficult period” for the trust.

She added Ms Donovan’s role would include “building on Stuart’s [Richardson’s] legacy”.

The trust is currently rated “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) having previously been judged inadequate.

It remains in the NHS’s Recovery Support Programme for struggling trusts, a regime previously known as ‘special measures’.

In June, auditors Grant Thornton issued a report which stated NSFT had effectively lost track of the number of its patients or people who had been in contact with its services who had died.

This had been prompted by claims more than a thousand patients had died preventable deaths, which the trust disputed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *