The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected a range of services provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust during planned visits in September/October 2019. The report, published tomorrow (Tuesday, 21st January), shows the Trust has maintained an overall rating of Good.
For the first time children’s mental health services in Worcestershire have been rated Outstanding - the highest rating possible. The CAMHS team provides a countywide service for children up to 18yrs and includes help for those with learning disabilities, a children’s eating disorder team and a youth offending team.
In the report the CQC said: “Staff were highly motivated to develop and adapt treatments that met patients individual needs. Staff had excellent knowledge of their patients, which meant they understood their individual needs…Young people and parents were extremely complimentary about their care package and the staff who provided it, and believed they received an excellent service.”
The report also cites the development of a Psychotherapy led under 5s service, and a new award winning app called BESTIE which has been built by local CAMHS clinicians, young people and IT staff and will provide access to help and advice to support positive mental wellbeing.
Dr John Devapriam, Medical Director at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “We are thrilled that our mental health services for children and young people have been rated Outstanding by the CQC. Staff within the service worked incredibly hard over recent years to transform the care and support we offer and it is fantastic that this hard work has been recognised. But even more importantly this is a reflection of our commitment to ensuring children, young people and their families who are experiencing mental health problems have access to Outstanding services right here in Worcestershire and we will be unrelenting in our drive to continue meeting this commitment for every child and young person who needs us.”
The CQC inspection reviewed a number of the Trust’s services, measuring performance against 5 questions; is it safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led before providing an overall rating - Inadequate, Requires Improvement, Good or Outstanding. The individual service ratings are then used to form the overall Trust rating.
The Trust’s community dental team has also been rated Outstanding in the ‘caring’ domain, with inspectors commenting that “patient feedback was overwhelmingly positive about the service….Patients told us that staff were professional, caring, very friendly and kind. Patients also commented that staff were particularly good at treating children and nervous patients”.
Within adult mental health services the Trust provides a range of support within the community. These help patients who have a long-term mental health condition within their own homes or normal place of residency. This includes an Early Intervention Team, an Employment and Reablement Team and Community Assessment and Recovery Teams (CARS) in the north and south of the county.
Inspectors rated these services inadequate overall due to specific staffing issues within the CARS team in the south of Worcestershire. They were satisfied with the quality of care in the other community mental health services.
Matthew Hall, Chief Operating Officer at the Trust, said: “At the root of our problems with the South CARS Team was a prolonged period of high staff vacancies and significant recruitment challenges and we accept that progress to address these staffing shortages has not been as quick or as effective as it should have been. We also recognise the strain this has put on the team and the impact this has had. We have now renewed our recruitment efforts, re-deployed existing staff from other areas and have worked with members of the team on ways to improve their wellbeing at work. By the end of January we will have sufficient capacity across the team in order to meet the current workload and we will continue to improve the working environment for staff.”
Overall the Trust has maintained its Good rating which it achieved following previous inspections in 2015 and 2018.
Sarah Dugan, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “We are really pleased this report reflects the excellent care and treatment our staff provide across a range of services, sometimes in challenging and demanding circumstances. We are particularly proud of our CAMHS team which is rated Outstanding, and for our community dentists who also achieved an Outstanding rating. There are many other examples of our staff really going above and beyond and I am really proud of their hard work and unwavering commitment to their patients - the challenge is for us to work together with our partners to continue to maintain and improve standards even further.
We are also equally committed to addressing the CQC’s recommendations for further improvement and we accept their findings relating to the Community Assessment and Recovery team in the south of the county. Work is already well underway to make the improvements necessary and we are focussed on ensuring patients accessing this service receive the high standards of care we would all expect. I would like to apologise to patients who have had difficulty accessing this service and confirm that we will continue to prioritise making rapid improvements to substantially improve the current position.”
The full report for the Trust is available here: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/R1A