CQC Chief Inspector of Hospitals report on AWP

CQC logoEngland's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, has published his first report on the quality of services provided by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

It consists of an overall provider level report plus a number of service line reports which are available to the right.

The report follows an inspection carried out in June and reflects both the verbal feedback the team gave the Trust and the problems the Trust highlighted at that time to the inspection team and which the Trust was already tackling with its commissioners.

As a result many actions have been completed and improvements made such as increased recruitment, staffing being more closely matched to capacity and needs,  an accelerated replacement and refurbishment programme to deal with estate issues, more training and changes to some of our systems.  The Trust is confident that by continuing to work with our commissioners we will strengthen our services and meet the CQC requirements.

We are pleased that the inspection team recognised the kind, caring and responsive approach of our staff and noted their high skills in the delivery of care.  Evidence based practice, centres of excellence in specialist services and motivated clinical leadership were also examples of good practice highlighted.

These positive comments reflect the significant change in the Trust over the past couple of years as we have transformed the organisation into a quality focused, clinically led and locally integrated organisation.  In doing so, we have improved many aspects of the Trust, building on best practice, improving the quality and responsiveness of our service.

Having radically overhauled the way the Trust is managed and run, we wanted our progress to be independently assessed and so pressed to be part of the mental health pilot inspections being undertaken by the Chief Inspector of Hospitals team.  During the five day visit to the Trust, we made a particular effort to be totally open and transparent with the 70 strong team, alerting them not just to areas where we knew further action was needed but also explaining to  them the plans we had put in place with our commissioners to tackle them.   

The warning and compliance notices issued by the CQC have highlighted the need to re-prioritise some of the planned actions and to make sure that changes are made faster.  Our Trust accepts the inspectors' conclusions and reaffirms its absolute commitment to delivering consistently the required standards.

At the quality summit hosted last week by the CQC and the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) the CQC expressed its confidence in the leadership of the Trust to resolve the inspection issues and to take the Trust forward.

The solution to some of these historic issues will require a coordinated push from the Trust, commissioners and social care colleagues as well as support from the CQC and the TDA.

While disappointed by some aspects of the report, we are committed to working with our commissioners, staff and service users to deliver the highest quality of safe, responsive services.

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