Inspection and Regulation

08.02.17

Leicestershire mental health trust rated as ‘requires improvement’

The CQC has rated Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) as ‘requires improvement’  after an inspection found that services still weren’t fully safe, effective and responsive.

The trust, which provides community and mental health services across Leicestershire for people of all ages, had its hospital wards and community-based mental health services inspected by a team of specialists last November.

Inspectors found LPT to be ‘good’ for caring but identified far more problems at the trust, rating it as ‘requires improvement’ for being safe, effective, responsive and well-led.

The CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and mental health lead, Dr Paul Lelliott, said: “While progress had been made since our last inspection in 2015, the trust had not done enough to ensure it was providing services that were fully safe, effective and responsive.

“The trust leadership is aware of what it needs to do to bring about improvement in the areas identified. We will continue to monitor the trust and our inspectors will return at a later date to check on what progress has been made.”

During its inspection the CQC identified particular safety concerns regarding the risks of ligature points and poor lines of sight, a lack of essential emergency equipment and the trust’s lack of full compliance with same sex accommodation, informing the trust it must also improve its record keeping and medicines management.

Inspectors also found that patients’ dignity and privacy was not adequately protected with too few patients involved in their care planning and low staffing levels, especially specialists, leaving the child and adolescent mental health community team’s caseloads above the national recommended level.

However, the CQC praised the trust’s areas of good practice such as its triage care, and two innovative apps which helped younger people who have developed dementia and those with other mental health issues.

Dr Peter Miller, chief executive of LPT, called the CQC inspection “a point in time along [the trust’s] improvement journey”, saying that it had not highlighted anything the trust is not already actively addressing or has not planned to address, although many of the changes will take longer to embed.

“Despite our challenges, I am confident about the journey we are on, proud of our achievements so far, and committed to providing the best services for patients and their families,” Dr Miller said.

Jeffrey Worrall, NHS Improvement delivery and improvement director, recognised that there has been improvement at LPT since its last inspection, particularly regarding its safety protocols, and said that its staff work hard to deliver a “high-quality and caring” service.

“We will support the trust as they continually improve across all areas identified, and monitor delivery of their quality improvement action plan and efforts to improve the patient experience,” Worrell concluded.

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