The Care Quality Commission has commended staff at a trust in the North West, after finding improvements in its community and inpatient mental health and learning disability services.
As a result, the overall rating of 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been upgraded from “requires improvement” to “good”, following its latest CQC inspection in July this year.
“We were impressed with the improvements we saw”
During this inspection, the team looked at a number of specific areas where the trust had been rated as “requires improvement” during a comprehensive inspection in 2015.
These areas were end of life care, mental health crisis services, adults’ inpatient wards and psychiatric intensive care unit, older people’s inpatient wards and forensic/secure inpatient wards.
Inspectors identified a number of areas where the trust had made improvements, particularly for their community end of life services.
These included that the trust had developed an end of life strategy and framework with an identified board lead, stated the CQC in its report.
“Our focus now will be on continued improvement”
The CQC said staff also felt supported and, particularly in end of life care, they were very positive about how the executive team had managed the concerns identified at the last inspection.
In addition, the trust had taken effective action to meet the requirement notices issued by CQC following the inspection in July 2015.
Dr Paul Lelliot, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and mental health lead, said that after its original inspection the trust was told to improve the consistency of the care it provided across different wards.
Dr Paul Lelliott
“We found that their processes did not always identify shortfalls or variations in care, or learning from complaints and incidents,” said Dr Lelliott.
“It is clear that changes have been implemented since February and this is reflected in the improved quality of care we found at this inspection,” he said.
Dr Lelliott noted “numerous examples” where patient outcomes and experience had improved since the last inspection, particularly for end of life care and on the forensic inpatient ward.
In addition, he said: “We saw that the trust had improved how it monitors and reports on the quality of the care it provides, with detailed, real time reports to the board meaning problems can be identified more quickly.
He added: “We were impressed with the improvements we saw, and the staff at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust should be pleased with their enhanced rating. They have deserved it.”
Bernard Pilkington, chair of 5 Boroughs Partnership, said: “This is fantastic news and I am delighted the hard work our staff put in every day to deliver high quality care has now been formally recognised.
“I’m particularly proud that our end of life care service has been rated as ‘outstanding’ for being caring. The report explains that in within this service, patients described staff as going the extra mile for them,” he said.
“Likewise, within our forensic/secure services, patients told inspectors they felt safe and were able to talk to staff and felt listened to,” said Mr Pilkington.
He added: “We worked hard to quickly resolve the issues raised in our original reports in February. Our focus now will be on continued improvement to deliver high quality care to our patients and service users.”
The trust provides mental health services and learning disability services to a population of 938,000 across the five boroughs of Halton, Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington and Wigan.
It provides services from more than nine locations, has an income of about £152m and employs more than 3,000 staff.