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'I'm angry, shocked and dismayed' - NHS boss to launch investigation into culture following bragging email

PUBLISHED: 09:38 24 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:06 24 January 2020

Jonathan Warren, chief executive at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFT

Jonathan Warren, chief executive at Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Photo: NSFT

Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust

A mental health boss will investigate the culture of his trust after a member of staff bragged they "got away" with poor publicity in coverage of a great grandmother's death.

Doreen Livermore (l) died at Amberley Hall Care Home in King's Lynn after she was attacked. Her children, Roy and Valerie had warned for weeks about a violent resident at the home who assaulted her      Photo: Livermore Family/ArchantDoreen Livermore (l) died at Amberley Hall Care Home in King's Lynn after she was attacked. Her children, Roy and Valerie had warned for weeks about a violent resident at the home who assaulted her Photo: Livermore Family/Archant

An email was sent by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust's communication manager Mark Prentice on Thursday where he told colleagues the death of a Monty Python star may had saved the trust from bad media coverage.

A report into the death of 88-year-old dementia patient Doreen Livermore, who was attacked by a man in a King's Lynn care home in 2018, was released last week by the Norfolk Adult Safeguarding Board.

It criticised the Trust's dementia service for discharging the patient who attacked her too quickly.

Mr Prentice wrote to two of his colleagues: "We seem to have got away (again) with the Adult Safeguarding Review.

Doreen Livermore's tragic death should have been the Trust's priority. They now need to prove that in future, it always will be, says Liz Nice. Photo: ArchantDoreen Livermore's tragic death should have been the Trust's priority. They now need to prove that in future, it always will be, says Liz Nice. Photo: Archant

"I think we may have been saved by the death of Terry Jones."

Jonathan Warren, chief executive of the NSFT, said he was "angry, shocked and dismayed" by the email and will launch two investigations, one into Mr Prentice's conduct and one into the culture that "allowed this to happen".

Mrs Livermore's son Dr Roy Livermore also said the email showed a wider problem with the culture of the Trust.

"I don't think the email would have been sent if the culture of the organisation was not like that," he said.

Doreen Livermore lived in Essex but moved to Amberley Hall in King's Lynn in 2009. Photo: ArchantDoreen Livermore lived in Essex but moved to Amberley Hall in King's Lynn in 2009. Photo: Archant

"He must have been confident that the receivers would not have an issue with it."

In papers at a Trust board meeting on Thursday Mr Warren describes another woman's death as a "media issue" and Dr Livermore said that made the Trust's concern for its reputation over learning from its mistakes "looked like an institutional thing".

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"It is not just one person making a mistake, it is window into the culture of whole organisation," he said.

Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk on Friday, Mr Warren said the email was "totally inappropriate and unacceptable".

"The culture described is not the culture of the organisation I want to lead," he said.

He added: "I will absolutely ask the investigators to speak to Dr Livermore and we will add whatever he wants into the terms of reference of that inquiry and include him fully."

He said Mr Prentice was not at work at the moment.

See also: Mental health trust has messed up its own message

He also said he would not put a timescale on the length of the investigation but would appoint investigators on Friday.

Mr Warren told Radio Norfolk said he would not be considering his own position at the trust.

Mrs Livermore's family had repeatedly complained about the man attacking people at the care home before she was attacked.

Joan Maughan, independent chair of Norfolk's adult safeguarding board which investigated Mrs Livermore's death, said she had been reassured by the chief executive.

She said: "Clearly it raises the question. What needs to happen now in order to stamp out any culture that is not transparent and straightforward?

"I believe that will happen, I felt reassured when I spoke to Jonathan Warren last evening. We will certainly be watching and calling them to account if we feel that is not happening."

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