The NHS mental health trust that serves Brighton and Hove still requires improvement, according to the official watchdog for health and care services.
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was given the same overall verdict by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as it received last year although improvements were noted in the latest inspection report, which is published this morning (Friday 23 December).
The chief inspector of hospitals told the trust that it had made significant progress since the inspection in January last year. But, after a fresh inspection in September, the trust was told that it must make further improvements to the quality of its services.
Overall the CQC has rated the trust as requires improvement.
Although the trust provided services that were good for being caring and responsive, improvements were needed for services to be consistently safe, effective and well led.
During the last comprehensive inspection of the trust in January 2015, inspectors identified a number of areas where improvements were needed. CQC rated four of the 11 core services as requires improvement.
At this inspection seven core services were rated as good. Three core services had moved from being rated as requires improvement to good at this inspection. These were the wards for people with a learning disability or autism, the long stay/rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults and the child and adolescent mental health ward.
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which has just named Brighton and Hove’s former mental health service boss Sam Allen as the next trust chief executive, provides NHS mental health, learning disability, substance misuse and prison healthcare services across Sussex, as well as community mental health services for children and young people in parts of Kent and Hampshire. Among other services, it runs Mill View Hospital, in Hangleton.
For full reports on all core services, click here.
The CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health Paul Lelliott said that Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust “had made a number of improvements to the quality of its services. However, there is room for further improvement”.
Dr Lelliott said: “Progress had been made across the trust to meet the Department of Health guidance on eliminating mixed-sex accommodation.
“However, on wards for older people with mental health problems there were still mixed-sex wards that were not always managed in accordance with Department of Health guidance.
“We also concluded that the trust must do more to improve patients’ access to psychological therapy.
“At the time of the previous inspection in January 2015, some of the senior team were fairly new in post.
“To their credit, they had themselves already identified many of the problems found at the CCQ inspection and had subsequently developed and implemented an action plan for improvement.
“During this inspection, many of the previously identified actions had been taken and improvements had been made to services.
“This was particularly noticeable in the ward for people with a learning disability at the Selden Centre and long stay/rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults, where a number of improvements had been made to make the services safer and enhance the experience of patients.
“The trust had made a concerted effort to improve staffing levels to ensure that wards were safely staffed.
“Our inspectors found the majority of staff to be caring, kind and respectful towards patients, people who use services and their carers. They also involved them in decisions about their care.
“For these reasons, we rated all of the core services as good for caring and the child and adolescent mental health wards as outstanding.
“It is quite apparent that staff and the leadership team of Sussex Partnership have made significant steps to improve the quality of service and care within the trust and this is to be applauded.”
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