NHS mental health trust earns ‘good’ rating

Staff at the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust celebrate their 'Good' rating by the Care Quality Commission (photo submitted).

NHS staff who provide mental health services for Sussex residents are celebrating being awarded a ‘good’ rating from health regulators this week.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was assessed as ‘requires improvement’ back in September 2016, but following another visit from the Care Quality Commission last autumn has received an improved rating.

Inspectors rated the trust as ‘outstanding’ for being caring, while the organisation was ‘good’ for being effective, responsive, well-led, and patients being safe.

Sam Allen, chief executive, said: “At Sussex Partnership, we value the CQC’s role in helping us improve care and treatment for the patients, families and local communities we serve.

“I’m delighted we have moved from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘good’ because it reflects our passion for providing high quality patient care and working with carers, families and our partners to learn and improve.

“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in helping us do this.

“I am proud to be part of an organisation providing outstanding care. I am also proud to work alongside colleagues who come to work committed to helping people with their mental health and wellbeing and committed to the values of the NHS.”

The organisation is one of the largest trusts of its kind in the country providing mental health, specialist learning disability, secure and forensic services for Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex as well as and specialist community child and adolescent mental health services reaching into Hampshire.

The trust operates from more than 260 sites including the community services, serves a population of 1.5 million people and employs around 3,840 staff.

Richard Bayley, interim chair, added: “All the work we have put into responding to the CQC’s feedback is about providing people who use our services with the best possible care, treatment and support.

“As a learning organisation, this work continues, because we want to do the best we possibly can for patients and families.

“I want to pay tribute to our staff. The fact they have been assessed as ‘outstanding’ for being caring is testament to the fantastic job they do.”

Inspectors found that a new senior leadership team has brought an ‘invigorated and open approach to the direction of the trust and culture in which the staff worked. Staff were excited about the changes and empowered to make improvements to their services. They also felt valued and felt proud to work for the organisation’.

They were supported by an experienced team of non-executive directors who brought an appropriate range of skills, knowledge and experience to perform their role.

Some wards had implemented a model of team management that encouraged staff and patients to be leaders in the roles they had on the ward.

For example, patients were referred to as service leaders, not patients.

Service leaders had a role in contributing to how their ward was run and their views were welcomed at daily and weekly community and risk management meetings.

Other areas highlighted by the CQC included ‘outstanding’ examples of practice such as clinical leadership and service user involvement at Langley Green Hospital in Crawley, a focus on improving the safety of elderly people in hospital in Hove, physical health care support for people using mental health services in Brighton and a mental health drop-in clinic for young people in Hastings.

Paul Lelliott,the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals (and lead for mental health), said: “I am delighted that the trust has taken to heart the findings from that and built on them to improve.

“We have found that the trust board and senior leadership team has put its clear vision and values at the heart of the organisation, working hard to make sure staff at all levels understood how this relates to their daily roles.

“During this inspection we have found examples of good practice in all core services we inspected. In particular we have seen a significant improvement in the quality of care.

“Services are more flexible and highly personalised to meet patients’ individual needs. I congratulate all concerned on the positive changes that we have found.”

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