A formal review of community mental health teams in Gloucestershire has concluded that the ²gether NHS Foundation Trust has made ‘considerable improvements’ in the services it provides.
The report published today by health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was in answer to a request by Gloucestershire Coroner’s Office following an inquest in November 2011.
The Coroner’s office asked CQC to investigate concerns that ²gether NHS Foundation Trust was a ‘fragmented’ service and ‘not patient centred’.
During the investigation, the CQC looked into the Trust’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service as well as other primary and secondary mental health services, information given to patients and electronic systems.
The review found that there has been ‘considerable improvements in the service provided’ with ‘positive comments’ from people who use the services and other healthcare professionals.
Service users, families and carers who had previously said they received ‘poor’ care in the past, were interviewed as part of the responsive review of services. They told CQC inspectors that the care provided by ²gether’s community mental health teams had “significantly improved” and was “absolutely amazing”.
Trish Jay, Director of Quality and Performance at the Trust said: “We know we that there have been instances where we have got things wrong in the past. We have worked with our staff, service users and their family and carers to make sure we strive to continuously provide a better experience of our services”.
The CQC carried out their visit to ²gether NHS Foundation Trust on 31 January and 1 February 2012. The regulator checked the Trust’s record keeping, looked at records of people who use services, talked to staff and spoke with people who use services.
Trish continued: “We previously identified a number of shortcomings in our services and we are pleased that our service users, their families, carers and our regulator think that the changes we have made, uphold safety and help to improve patient experience.
Our focus has been to make sure that those in our care receive the highest level of quality. Together with additional changes we are making, the people we serve can have confidence in the quality of care and support we provide”.
The CQC report assessed two outcome measures which focussed upon the care and welfare of those who use services and the systems that are in place to monitor the quality of services. The CQC concluded that the Trust was compliant on both.
The report states: “People who come to the ²gether NHS Foundation Trust experience safe, effective and appropriate care, support and treatment. The trust carries out assessments of people needs and plans a programme of care to meet these needs. The trust ensures that it protects people’s welfare and safety”.
It continues: “The trust has regard to complaints, comments, and views of people who use the service, their carers or those acting on their behalf, and staff or professionals associated with the service.
“We (CQC) found it (²gether) willing to address any shortcomings and ambitious to use and bring to patients the best practices in psychiatric care.”