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Mental health trust rated ‘requires improvement’ despite progress

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A mental health and care trust in the South East has been rated “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission, with particular issues raised with its provision of care homes for people with learning disabilities.

However, the regulator noted that Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s “passionate, engaging, open and transparent” leadership had made good progress.

The trust’s adult acute/intensive psychiatric care units were rated as “requires improvement”, as were its crisis services for adults with mental health issues. However, seven out of nine of its mental health service categories were rated “good”.

Its long stay wards for adults with long term mental health issues were found to be particularly good, as were its community mental health services for older adults and adults with learning difficulties and autism.

The main problems found by the CQC were with the trust’s care homes for adults with learning difficulties, with 44% of the trust’s services in homes marked as “requires improvement”.

In its inspection report the regulator said managers had not ensured care in these homes was safe and of a high quality. Nor did the trust board have a good enough oversight of incidents it should be learning from.

However, Paul Lelliott, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: “Since our previous inspection two years ago, the trust has carried out a comprehensive review of its inpatient mental health services and health based places of safety.

Care Quality Commission

Dr Paul Lelliott

Paul Lelliott

“The trust has closed wards and units that were not safe or no longer suitable and has opened new facilities in their place,” he said. “It has also improved waiting times for people who use its community mental health services.”

The CQC also noted the trust has opened a new purpose built unit for adult acute services and a psychiatric intensive care unit, while particular attention was given to a new initiative by the trust to make out-of-hours crisis services more accessible.

Trust chief executive Fiona Edwards said the CQC had been particularly impressed by “how we involve young people in the design and development of our services, our good waiting times and response times in our community services, our high standards for physical healthcare in our mental health wards for older people”.

She said these standards were “as good as you would expect to see on a general ward”.

Ms Edwards told Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal that she had made care homes a “top priority” and was confident that since the CQC inspection “we have addressed many of the concerns raised”.

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  • Addressed AND RESOLVED the concerns?

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