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Finance chief at region's troubled mental health trust resigns

PUBLISHED: 13:05 22 July 2015 | UPDATED: 14:54 22 July 2015

Andrew Hopkins has resigned as finance director of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Andrew Hopkins has resigned as finance director of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

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The trust providing mental health care to patients in Norfolk and Suffolk has been hit by the resignation of its finance director.

Andrew Hopkins will leave Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), which is currently in special measures.

NSFT has faced a range of financial problems this year, and health watchdog the Care Quality Commission reported the trust was not a “safe” service following an earlier inspection.

Among the financial difficulties the trust has faced are a rise in spend on temporary staff and the cost of sending patients out of the area for treatment.

The trust saw its spending on agency staff rise by around 50pc from 2013/14 (£16.4m) to 2014/15 (£24.8m).

Last month it emerged the trust spent a record amount on temporary staff in May.

Mr Hopkins said the trust was in a “very challenging position right now.”

He said: “I feel that now is the right time for me to step aside and for someone else to provide a fresh approach to that challenge.

“I will greatly miss all of my colleagues and all of the fantastic staff I have met in my time at NSFT.”

He has spent nearly 12 years working at the trust.

This financial year the trust currently has a £2.1m deficit.

NSFT is also expected to make £36m in efficiency savings over the next four years, and has already delivered around £44m in savings.

Earlier this month the EDP reported how mental health staff told of feeling ‘helpless’, ‘disempowered’ and described their department as being ‘in chaos’ after obtaining a copy of a report asking staff about working for the trust.

Mr Michael Scott, chief executive of the trust, said: “On behalf of everyone at the trust, I would like to thank Andrew for the dedication and commitment he has always shown to our trust and wish him the very best now and in the future.”

Also departing the trust is Kathy Chapman, the director of operations for Norfolk and Waveney.

She leaves at the end of July following a 12-month secondment working with national health organisations.

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