Regulators have judged the community mental health services provided for children and young people in Northumbria as “good”, with staff attitude singled out for praise.
The Care Quality Commissioning rating issued to Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust follows an inspection in September 2016.
“We saw care that was being delivered in a thoughtful and sensitive way”
The CQC visit focused on the trust’s specialist community mental health services for children and young people aged 0-17 in North Tyneside.
These services were not rated during the organisation’s last inspection in November 2015, when it scored as “outstanding” overall – the regulator’s top rating.
The trust also provides hospital, and community services, in Northumberland and North Tyneside, and adult social care services in Northumberland only.
The CQC’s report, published today, noted a number of positive findings from the inspection of its children’s and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS).
It highlighted that staff delivered care in a “thoughtful and sensitive way” that was adaptive to the needs of the young person.
Interactions were at an appropriate level, which focused on recovery and respected the needs of patients, and staff were “passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated” to their work.
The CQC also observed that initial assessments were thorough and included a full assessment of risk.
“We pride ourselves in tailoring our services to the needs of children and young people”
The service had clear criteria for referrals into the service with timescales for assessment for urgent, priority and routine referrals, added the regulator.
However, it noted that there were some areas where the trust should make improvements.
For example, the trust should ensure that its premises at Albion Road had appropriate security systems in place including secure entrance to staff areas and interview rooms.
The trust should also ensure that there was adequate access to hand washing and hand sanitisers at both Albion Road and the Baliol Centre.
In addition, the trust should consider how to more accurately record the involvement of young people and parents in decisions about treatment and care, said the CQC.
Sir Mike Richards
CQC chief hospital inspector Professor Sir Mike Richards said it was “clear” the trust was providing an “effective service”.
“I am pleased to be able to rate the quality of these services as ‘good’,” he said.
“We saw care that was being delivered in a thoughtful and sensitive way, and was responsive to the needs of the young people using this service,” said Sir Mike.
“This was reflected in the positive things that people using this service as well as their carers told us,” he said.
He added: “The trust should be pleased with the ‘good’ rating for this service, but there are some areas where we have told them they can make changes to improve even further.”
Positive staff attitude helps mental health trust to ‘good’ rating
Dr Jonny Cardwell, consultant paediatrician at the trust and business unit director for CAMHS, said: “We are pleased that our community mental health services for children and young people have been rated as ‘good’ and welcome this feedback from the CQC.
“We pride ourselves in tailoring our services to the needs of children and young people and providing care in places where they can easily access, and continue work to improve our service even further,” he said.
He added: “We receive great feedback for our service from children and young people and their carers and are pleased that this has been highlighted in the report.”