Reducing caseloads and improving access to personal attack alarms for staff has contributed to a mental health trust having its rating upgraded to “good” by regulators.
Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation has been upgraded from “requires improvement” to “good”, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in October.
“This extra capacity means that staff caseloads have been reduced”
During the inspection, the CQC team looked at six specific areas where the trust had been required to make improvements when their comprehensive inspection report was published last January.
Inspectors found improvements in five of the core services looked at, which they subsequently re-rated as “good”. Only one area, community-based mental health services for adults of working age, was again rated as “requires improvement”.
In their latest report on the trust, published on 12 January, they noted significant improvements in the safety and security of facilities within the community learning disability service in Rotherham.
All clinic rooms had alarms fitted and staff across all locations had personal attack alarms, said the CQC, and people who use the service were involved in the recruitment of new staff.
Meanwhile, staff at the trust’s Ironstone Centre had secured extra funding to support the needs of the North Lincolnshire community and a workforce restructure had resulted in lower caseloads.
“Staff, supported by managers, are working really hard to make those changes happen”
However, the told the trust it should ensure a higher number of staff working in the substance misuse service complete their mandatory training to ensure the safety of people using the service.
In addition, the inspectors noted that care records, including risk assessments and care plans on the electronic system, were found to be incomplete or missing.
Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, noted that the quality of some of the services provided by the trust had previously been “variable” and there were a number of areas that needed improvement.
“The trust has clearly worked hard to implement these changes and improve consistency,” he said in the wake of the CQC’s latest visit.
“We had told the trust that they must ensure that there are enough staff on duty to meet patient needs and we were pleased to see that they have achieved this through restructure,” he said.
Dr Paul Lelliott
“At the Ironstone centre, this extra capacity means that staff caseloads have been reduced, allowing risk assessments to be carried out and properly recorded,” highlighted Dr Lelliott.
He added: “In the mental health services for children and young people, the recruitment of additional staff has translated into more thorough care for people using the service.
“However, we have again rated community-based mental health services for adults of working age as requires improvement because we were concerned about the quality of risk management and care plans and poor compliance with mandatory training,” he said.
Dr Deb Wildgoose, director of nursing and quality at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber, said: “This is a really good overall rating and our staff have worked incredibly hard to achieve this.
“However, we will not be resting on our laurels,” she said. “We know that we still have areas that our trust needs to improve and enhance and staff, supported by managers, are working really hard to make those changes happen.
“The trust will, as always, continue to work hard to deliver the best services possible, keeping patients, their families and carers at the heart of our care,” she added.