South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust today welcomed the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report, which rated the Trust Good across all five domains.
In September and October this year, the CQC undertook a detailed inspection of the Trust’s clinical services and carried out an expert review into how well the Trust is led.
As part of the inspection, which focused on the safety and quality of mental health services in south west London, the CQC interviewed hundreds of staff and patients.
The CQC acknowledged that we are a values-led, open and transparent Trust which is focused on our patients’ care.
The Trust is proud to have further strengthened its ‘Good’ rating and that the report shows that the CQC has confidence in the leadership of the Trust.
The CQC report found many examples of outstanding practice on our mental health wards and in the community setting which include:
In our wards for older people with mental health problems, staff provided excellent support to families and carers, considered their needs and were proactive in involving them in their relative’s care. The social worker held a social care surgery every week, supporting carers in the consideration of future placements. Staff developed specific care plans for carers to ensure their own needs were met.
Staff provided a very high standard of physical health care and treatment to patients.
The Trust’s ‘safety in motion programme’ was part of the Trust’s reducing restrictive interventions programme; staff were committed to using the least restrictive practice and this was evident in the low usage of restraint, seclusion and rapid tranquilisation.
On Avalon Ward, the occupational therapist developed a ‘Your Group, Your Say’ workshop where patients could make suggestions for new ward groups and then vote on what activities they wanted
The CQC 2019 inspection report also highlighted several areas of good practice across the Trust. The report said:
The Trust had set up an expert panel, chaired by an academic expert, to look at the experience of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) patients who are over-represented in mental health services and less likely to use talking therapies. The panel is committed to developing a work programme to make Trust services appropriate to BAME needs and ensure equitable, safe and effective mental health care
The pharmacy team had written a successful business case for a project on medicines optimisation in care homes for people living with learning disabilities which received praise from GPs and other stakeholders across the five boroughs
There has been significant improvement in service user and carer involvement, as well as staff engagement
The Trust felt more energised, particularly in terms of the work in relation to inclusivity, equality and diversity
The organisation felt open, positive and transparent at all levels
We are pleased to see that inspectors noted we have made improvements in our acute inpatient wards and our forensic inpatient or secure wards, but there is still some work to do in our specialist eating disorders service, especially those for children and young people.
These issues had been identified before the inspection and work was already being done to address them. We welcome the CQC’s feedback on these challenges which has further shaped our efforts to provide the best possible care.
In our children’s and young people’s service, we are reviewing all elements of our service including our clinical model, putting into place a robust training and development programme for the whole multidisciplinary team.
Vanessa Ford, Acting Chief Executive of the Trust, said:
“We are delighted to receive a resounding Good rating across our services. This is a well-deserved outcome for our patients, carers and the wider community we serve. We couldn’t have achieved this positive outcome without the hard work and dedication of all our staff who work tirelessly to improve the lives of our patients.
“I am also particularly pleased that the CQC recognised that we are a values-led Trust with outstanding areas of practice, as well as the open and transparent culture of the organisation. We are now stepping up our work in those areas in which we need to improve using our tried-and-tested methodology as well as striving to provide the very best care across the whole Trust.”
Kevin Cleary, Deputy Chief Inspector Hospitals, Mental Health and Community Services, said:
“I am pleased that South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust has kept up the standards it achieved at CQC’s last inspection and was again rated ‘Good’ overall.
“I was impressed with the Trust’s management. The board and senior leadership team had set a clear strategy and staff were aware of what it was. The Trust had a values-based culture, which was positive and open.
“Work on equality and diversity had progressed since the last inspection. There had been an increase in the number of staff network groups. Plans to improve workforce race equality had been reviewed and re-energised.”