Response to the Consultation Document on Foundation Status

Sutton1in4 Network response to the consultation document on Foundation Status for SW London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust

  1. This is a response on behalf of Sutton 1in4 Network to the consultation document Have your say- Your chance to shape your local mental health services. Public Consultation May- August 2012.
  2. Our responses to the questions posed in the consultation document are set out in order. However we start this response with a general statement of our position as of July 3rd 2012

Sutton 1in4 Network Position Statement

July 2012

Sutton 1in 4 Network is a User led organisation operating in the London Borough of Sutton to ensure that the voices experience and expertise of people who experience mental and emotional distress and use local health and social care services are heard, valued, and influence and shape local provision.

We are committed to work co-productively with the wide range of Stakeholders which is reflected in our strap line “Diverse Voices. Shared Vision.”

Since our response to the Trusts consultation in March 2011, the Network has worked with the Trust in a collaborative and co-productive way to deal with the concerns that we raised, specifically around issues of performance, quality of care and patient . experience.

We have noted that in the last 6 months the Trust has shown a real desire to bring about sustainable improvements to the quality of its services and the care, support and treatment they provide. We welcome this, but the quality of Leadership and commitment in tackling and confronting the areas of concern that service users raised with them needs to continue.

We wish to be re assured that such leadership through the incoming CEO and the Trust Executive Management Team will continue to ensure that not only improvements continue but they are sustained

We need to be convinced the Trust is committed to continuing its drive to improve the quality of its services, to create a no hiding place for poor performance and to Peer Led change in the organisation.

We give conditional support to the Foundation Trust application:

These conditions are:

  • That the Trust commits itself to Peer led change within the organisation based on the principles of co-production and that the co-production outcome framework is reported back to the joint SURG/EMC meeting.
  • That there is evidence of clear leadership in the organisation and that it operates from a jointly agreed set of values.
  • That the Trust fully embeds the role of the Service User Reference Group both centrally and in each of its localities
  • That it shows clear commitment and publishes key milestones to improving and sustaining quality in the areas already identified by the SURG Quality Group and other key stakeholders this should be done via a co-produced Patient Experience work stream.
  • That the Trust takes pro-active steps to engage with other communities to foster and create local wellbeing networks.
  • The Trust needs to examine its relationships with voluntary sector and user organisations.It needs to be able to demonstrate that it can be a partner not just the monopoly as it is at the moment.

Question 1:

Do you support our main reasons for wanting to become a NHS Foundation Trust?

Our Key points

Yes.. but see the conditions above

We would also like to have more clarity about what the benefits of Foundation Trust status will have on the experience of patients .

We would like to hear of examples of how in practice the Foundation Trust will be more responsive to the needs of local people?

Question 2:

Do you agree with our vision, values and objectives?

Our Key points

The Trust’s vision and values are admirable.

The Trust should build upon the Shared Values work being undertaken by SURG. The Trust needs to value this work It is the only work being undertaken that addresses the value base of staff in the Trust and which is led by service users It is the best way for the Trust to demonstrate that its values and vision are put into practice.

As we stated in the conditions above the leadership of the Trust needs to embrace Peer Led change

However, we still think that the Trust needs to have a robust mechanism for ensuring that the vision and values are consistently put into practice. It needs to ensure that all services, teams, management and staff within the organisation reflect these values.

Question 3:

Do you have any views or comments on our service plans for the future?

Key point

We have been involved at a local level regarding the future configuration of Trust Services, however we shall be able to give a more informed response when we see or are consulted on the Trust Business Plan.

Question 4:

Do you agree that 12 is the right minimum age to become member of the Foundation Trust?

Key point:

No, our view is that the minimum age should be 16, however it should listen to all service users whatever their age those patients who are aged 12 would be represented by their parents or guardians.

Question 5

Do you agree with our proposals to have a separate constituency for users and carers?

Our Key point:

The proposals do make it clear that users and carers will be elected separately. However, it is arguable that an even clearer distinction is needed between user and carer members. It is important to recognise that the interests and concerns of users and carer are different. We feel that the proposal that user members should have been in touch with the Trust in the past 5 years discriminatory. No other groups have such a restrictive condition.

Question 6:

Do you have any views on the proposed subdivision of the public constituency?

Our Key point:

The public constituency is divided geographically by London Boroughs and “the rest of England and Wales”. This seems clear and manageable.

Question 7:

Do you think our proposals for staff members are the right ones?

Key point:

The legislation requires provision to be made for staff members. And therefore seems an irreverent question

Question 8:

Do you agree with the proposed number and mix of Governors on the Council of Governors?

Our Key points:

We note that the Trust has made a very powerful statement in its membership strategy for the proposed Foundation Trust,

“that service users are the heart of everything we do”

How does the Trust plan to do this?

It could start by linking this into the Patient Experience Programme and Peer Led Change

We believe that there should be 2 user representatives from each borough who are elected by user members from that borough. We feel that there should be 1 user representative from the rest of England and Wales We also feel that there should be 5 Carer representatives also elected by carer members from the individual boroughs Deputy’s should be allowed if users reps cannot temporarily attend the Council of Governors meetings

The requirement for users and carers to outnumber other members of the Board of Governors is under the proposal barely met we feel that this needs to be changed.

Question 9:

Do you have any views on what the Trust should be called if we become an NHS Foundation Trust?

Key point

The name of the proposed trust is not a major issues for us:

If the conditions that we have stated are not met or if the Trust does not deliver the improvements in the quality of care and in patient experience then Sutton 1in4 would withdraw our support

Sutton 1in4 Network

Co-ordination Group

3rd July 2012