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NSFT to miss mental health meeting over 'purdah' election rules

PUBLISHED: 10:51 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:44 31 October 2019

Professor Jonathan Warren, new chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: NSFT

Professor Jonathan Warren, new chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. Picture: NSFT

Justin Setterfield

Foundation trust chiefs will miss a special mental health meeting with Sir Norman Lamb due to pre-election purdah rules.

Mental health support has been a major talking point in north Norfolk and the trust which oversees most of it, the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), has been rated inadequate for a third year running.

Now, NSFT's Jonathan Warren, and the chair of NSFT, Marie Gabriel, will miss the public meeting organised by Sir Norman, in Cromer on Friday, due to 'purdah rules'.

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A spokesperson for NSFT said: "Jonathan Warren, chief executive, and Marie Gabriel, chair, were very happy to accept this invitation from Sir Norman Lamb and were looking forward to hearing people's views.

"However, the trust has been advised by NHS England and NHS Improvement that, since the general election was called, under the rules of purdah governing the period leading up to an election, they should not attend these types of meeting.

"They look forward to attending such meetings in future and working together to support people in mental health crisis."

The term 'purdah' is often used to describe the period immediately before an election or referendum when there are restrictions on the activity of civil servants.

The meeting with Sir Norman will still be held at Cromer Parish Hall on Church Street between 11.45am - 12.45pm on Friday, November 1.

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