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19.03.19

Chief executive at England’s worst performing mental health trust to step down

The chief executive of a special measures mental health trust is stepping down after less than a year in the job.

Antek Lejk is to leave his post at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS FT (NSFT) in order to join the East London NHS FT (ELFT).

The Norfolk and Suffolk Trust is England’s worst performing mental health trust and currently sits in special measures following its third ‘inadequate’ rating from the CQC in November.

Lejk, who has also worked as the chief officer of South Norfolk and North Norfolk CCGs, took charge at the trust in May last year but will now be responsible for supporting the development of an integrated care system (ICS) in the north east of London.

Lejk said that the trust was at a key stage of its journey to improve its services, and that “whilst I fully support the trust on that journey, it is my belief that it will benefit from a new vision and leadership and I fully support it on that journey.”

The NSFT’s board of directors said it will shortly announce an interim chief executive.

The trust’s chair, Marie Gabriel, commented: “This is a great opportunity that draws on Antek’s proven experience of, and indeed success with, system working.

“After careful consideration, and given that Antek has managed to bring NSFT to a point where the green shoots of improvement are starting to show, he has decided to accept this offer.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Antek for his hard work and dedication over what I know has been a challenging few months. We will be building upon the foundations he has laid to further improve the quality of services at the Trust to a standard that service users can and should expect.”

NSFT has come under fire from the CQC and NHS Improvement in recent years, with MPs in November calling for government intervention at the troubled mental health trust.

The CQC said bosses at the trust had repeatedly failed to protect patients, and in some cases patients had been harming themselves and taking overdoses whilst waiting to be seen.

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