Tackling nurse vacancies will one of the key priorities of the new chief nurse at a struggling mental health trust.
Mental health nurse Diane Hull will take up her new role at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), which is currently rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission, on Wednesday.
She joins NSFT from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, where she is said to have played an instrumental role in supporting the organisation to move from a CQC rating of “requires improvement” to “good”.
“We also need to make sure we truly value our staff and show them the appreciation they deserve for their dedication”
Her appointment as the new chief nurse at Norfolk and Suffolk was revealed in June.
“I am really looking forward to getting started 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 said.
At NSFT, she will be responsible for boosting safety and the experience which service users have when accessing care, as well as enhancing the way learning is shared across the trust when incidents occur and helping to address vacancies in the nursing workforce.
“We look forward to working with Diane Hull to make long-term, sustainable changes which will make a real difference”
Speaking of her new role, Ms Hull added: “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.
“It will also be vitally important for us to make sure our services are safe and start being creative and finding innovative ways of working to benefit service users,” she added.
Ms Hull also noted that she is “realistic” and so “recognises there will be challenges ahead”.
“All trusts are… facing a real problem with recruitment and retention,” she said.
“At NSFT, we need to make sure we are offering something really exciting which enthuses people,” she said.
diane hull chief nurse
“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,” added Ms Hull.
Earlier this summer, NSFT recruited Stuart Richardson as its new chief operating officer and Duncan Forbes as director of human resources and organisational development. Ms Hull’s appointment takes the executive team up to full strength, noted the trust.
Antek Lejk, chief executive of NSFT, said: “We are really pleased to welcome Diane as our chief nurse. We look forward to working with her to make long-term, sustainable changes which will make a real difference to our service users and their carers.”
Ms Hull has said she is looking forward to “getting settled in and cracking on” in her new role.
She added: “Everyone I’ve met so far has been warm and engaging, and really want to make things better for service users, carers and staff.”