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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today published the findings of its latest inspection of ²gether NHS Foundation Trust.

The CQC has rated the Trust as ‘Good’. This is the same overall rating the Trust received following its last inspection in 2015. However, inspectors found that there had been continuing improvements within a number of the services reviewed.

  • Wards for older people with mental health problems are now rated ‘Outstanding’ for being caring and ‘Good’ for safe.
  • Community-based mental health services for older people are now rated ‘Good’ overall, ‘Good’ for being well-led and ‘Good’ for being effective.
  • Wards for people with a learning disability or autism are now rated ‘Good’ for being responsive.

Our specialist community mental health services for children and young people retained their ‘Good’ rating across the board. None of the services inspected had their ratings downgraded.

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Paul Roberts, said: “We welcome publication of the CQC’s inspection report, which highlights many areas of best practice across our Trust.

“CQC inspections are, quite rightly, a rigorous process involving not only inspecting records and interviewing staff but also engaging with patients and carers, commissioners, partners and other stakeholders. The fact that the CQC found so many areas of good quality care and practice gives us, and should give the communities we serve, assurance that this is a Trust full of caring and committed staff. I’d like to thank all Trust colleagues for their dedication and for putting the needs of service users and carers at the heart of everything we do.

“There are, of course, areas we need to work on to bring about further improvements. I am confident that with the staff, teams and leadership that we have within the Trust we will bring about those further improvements and I feel privileged and committed to be leading colleagues in doing so.”

The CQC particularly highlighted several areas of good practice, including:

  • Staff worked well to ensure that care plans were patient-centred. Within most of the teams there was a good mix of different mental health staff who worked well together and with outside agencies to ensure that patients received the best possible care.
  • Staff were caring and respectful towards patients. Patients told inspectors that they were involved in decisions about their care and that staff considered their well-being and took their experiences as a patient into account when giving treatment.
  • Inspectors found that staff were responsive to the needs of their patients – demonstrated in the time it took for patients to receive an assessment and then treatment, and in the way staff in the wards worked to help patients prepare for discharge from the hospital.
  • There was evidence of excellent leadership at all levels across the trust with many dedicated, compassionate staff who were striving to deliver the best care for their patients.

Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals and CQC’s lead for mental health, said:

“I am pleased that the staff at ²gether NHS Foundation Trust continue to embed improvements in their services without being too distracted by the forthcoming merger with Gloucestershire Care Services Community Trust. We were particularly impressed by the care on the wards for old people.

“There are still some areas for improvement within wards for people with a learning disability and wards for older people with mental health problems and we expect the board to continue to focus on these areas on behalf of their patients. In the meantime I congratulate all the staff on the progress that we have seen.”

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the trust between February and March 2018 to check the quality of four core mental health services: community based mental health services for older people, wards for people with learning disabilities or autism, wards for older people with mental health problems, specialist community mental health services for children and young people. CQC also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well led?

The CQC assesses NHS organisations according to five separate criteria for its services: whether they are Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-led. In each one it decides whether to give a rating of Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.

It also gives a Trust-wide rating for each of the five criteria as well as a single overall rating for the whole organisation, which includes an assessment of the Trust leadership.

²gether NHS Foundation Trust has been rated ‘Good’ for being Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-Led. The Trust was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ for Safe.

Full reports including ratings for all of the core services are available at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RTQ