25th Feb, 2020

Thumbs up and down as CQC rates county mental health services

Ross Crawford 21st Jan, 2020 Updated: 21st Jan, 2020

MENTAL health services for children have been rated Outstanding in the latest CQC inspection of Worcestershire Heath and Care Trust.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected a range of services provided by the Trust during planned visits in September/October 2019.

Its report showed the Trust has maintained an overall rating of Good.

However it rated adult community mental health services, particularly in the south of the county as Inadequate, sparking an apology from Trust chief executive Sarah Dugan.

She said: “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.”

It’s the first time children’s mental health services in Worcestershire have been rated Outstanding – the highest rating possible.

The Trust’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) team provides a countywide service for children up to the age of 18 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 service for under fives, and a new award winning app called BESTIE which has been built by local CAMHS clinicians, young people and IT staff to provide access to help and advice to support positive mental wellbeing.

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.”

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.

Overall the Trust has maintained its Good rating which it achieved following previous inspections in 2015 and 2018.

Ms Dugan 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 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 focused on ensuring patients accessing this service receive the high standards of care we would all expect.”

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