Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has been told it “requires improvement” following a Care Quality Commission inspection in October.
The CQC concluded that the mental health trust needed to make improvements, many which were related to “historically underfunded” services in York.
In its set of inspection reports on the trust, published today, the regulator said service users gave “mixed feedback” on the treatment and care they received.
“We saw a great deal of variation in the safety and quality of treatment and care provided”
The majority told inspectors that they were happy with the quality of the care they were receiving and with the approach of the staff, and that they felt involved in decisions about their care.
However, some people had concerns about their care, including access to crisis services, the interface between different services, and the complexity of returning to services after a period away.
Inspectors were also concerned about the safety of some of the wards. Staff were not always aware of the risks posed by fixtures and fittings that could be used as ligature points and some wards in York did not meet national guidance regarding same sex accommodation.
Staffing levels were usually maintained at the level set by the trust, but there was limited medical cover in some locations that meant it could be difficult to get medical assistance in an emergency.
CQC found that Bootham Park Hospital, which has listed status, was not fit for purpose as a modern mental health ward. Staff could not make safe all potential ligature points nor could nursing staff easily observe all parts of all wards due to the layout of the building.
The trust was working to find a solution but as yet this had not been implemented.
CQC identified a number of other areas requiring improvement, including complaints handling, maintenance of rehabilitation wards and training about the Mental Capacity Act and Mental Health Act.
“I am a registered mental health nurse and I’ve been a carer in my personal life so I know what it feels like to both work in and receive services from the NHS”
Inspectors highlighted areas of good practice, including young people on the child and adolescent inpatient ward in York being provided with mobile phones to keep in contact with friends and family, a community-based dementia café and specialist training links with Leeds bereavement forum.
Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: “We saw a great deal of variation in the safety and quality of treatment and care provided.
“We saw some examples of good practice in services which were really going the extra mile to improve the support that they provided to people,” he said. “However, we saw other services where more needed to be done to make sure that care and treatment consistently met the required standard.”
Trust chief executive Chris Butler said: “I am a registered mental health nurse and I’ve been a carer in my personal life so I know what it feels like to both work in and receive services from the NHS.
“I am therefore of the view that no NHS organisation can be perfect and we must always seek out opportunities to learn, reflect and make things better,” he said.
“I am very proud of the staff who have received glowing assessments from both the inspection team and our service users who said they were treated with kindness, dignity and respect,” he said. “Our staff are our greatest asset.
“There are some areas of concern that have been highlighted in the report and a small number of those are significant. We have already been taking action to address some of those and we are working on a firm plan of action to tackle the rest,” he said.