Lincolnshire Trust praised by CQC for significant improvement to care

A Lincolnshire Trust has been praised for stepping up its efforts to improve care as the CQC rated it ‘Good’ after it had previously been described as ‘Requires Improvement’ after an inspection in 2015.

Inspectors looked at the services provided by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS FT, which primarily provides specialist health services for people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, over five days and found that the quality of care had seen a marked improvement.

The CQC’s team of specialists and experts visited the trust’s core services and found the care provided by staff was safe, caring, responsive, well-led, but could still improve in being effective.

“Overall, we concluded that Lincolnshire Partnership NHS FT now provides good care to the population that it serves. We found that the trust had responded positively to the changes we asked it to make following our last inspection and we noted improvements in most of its core service,” said chief Inspector of Hospitals (and lead for mental health), Dr Paul Lelliott.

“Throughout the trust we saw staff treating patients with kindness, dignity and respect. Staff were helpful and understanding and used kind, supportive language that patients understood,” he added. “They encouraged patients to give feedback about their care, and provided people with information in easy read formats to help them access further support where needed.”

Lelliott added that since the CQC’s last inspection, the trust had worked to reduce the risks to patients on the wards who might harm themselves as well.

“Staff were now more aware of the risks in the ward environments and re-assessed these regularly,” he said. “On inpatient wards, staff had quick access to ‘heat maps’ to assist the safe management of patients at high risk of self-harm or suicide.”

However, the CQC did warn that the trust had not fully addressed all of the regulator’s previous concerns. This includes that all inpatients must have discharge and care plans to meet their needs and that staff have regular supervision and appraisals.

“The trust knows what it must now do to ensure further improvements are made and we are confident that the executive team, with the support of their staff, will work to deliver these on behalf of all of their patients,” Lelliott concluded. “We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”

Dr John Brewin, CEO at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS FT, said he was pleased that the work of staff at the trust has been reflected with the move from Requires Improvement to Good.

“Our staff have a real focus on providing high quality care for our patients and this latest report is testament to that commitment,” he stated. “There is a great deal we can be proud of in this report but we are not complacent and will continue to work to improve our services for patients.

“We know there are areas that we need to focus on in order to enhance our services and provide effective care. Not all of the solutions to the issues identified in the report rest with the trust alone and we will carry on working with our partners across the health and social care system.”

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