Caring NHS staff rated 'outstanding' - but Northamptonshire's mental health trust scores 'requires improvement' for safety

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have gone from 'Requires Improvement' to 'Good'.
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have gone from 'Requires Improvement' to 'Good'.

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare 'Good' overall in an improved overall inspection..

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission rated the care provided by staff as 'outstanding' regarding whether services were caring.

Staff across the whole service received an 'outstanding' rating for being kind and caring.

Staff across the whole service received an 'outstanding' rating for being kind and caring.

They scored 'good' regarding whether services were responsive, effective and well-led - and 'requires improvement' regarding whether services were safe.

Angela Hillery, chief executive at NHFT, said: “We are delighted to receive the CQC rating of 'good' and we are very proud of achieving 'outstanding' for caring too. This is a testament to the dedication of everyone who is part of team NHFT to ensuring we are making a difference in the lives of patients, services users and carers.

“When we received the rating of 'requires improvement' in 2015 we said at the time that this reflected our continuous journey of improvement and I am thrilled that the CQC has recognised the work everyone has put in to improve our services since this time.”

CQC inspectors inspect services in five areas: Care, responsive, effective, well-led and safe.

The service has, however, again been rated 'requires improvement' for safety.

The service has, however, again been rated 'requires improvement' for safety.

The trust was previously inspected in February 2015 when it was rated overall as 'requires improvement'.

In a follow-up inspection in August 2015, this score did not improve.

They fell short on whether they were responsive, effective and well-led, all of which were rated 'good' in the new inspection.

Across all the reports since February 2016, the trust's care has been praised and has now been upgraded to 'outstanding'.

The report says "patients are treated with kindness, dignity and respect".

The report says "patients are treated with kindness, dignity and respect".

The only area to not improve is the trust's safety. A previous inspection found out of 3,449 reported incidents between 2013 and 2014, the most common were 'patient accident' (29.5 per cent) and 'self-harming behaviour (27.5 per cent).

They were also previously criticised for poorly managing ligature care, using both paper and electronic records and having staff vacancies throughout core services.

CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals (and lead for mental health), Dr Paul Lelliott, said: “Overall, it is an extremely caring service which provides good care to the population that it serves. The trust can be proud of many of the services that it manages.

“Since our previous inspection in February 2015, the trust has made significant improvements to the quality to care provided to patients.

“We were particularly impressed by how caring staff were throughout services. Staff throughout the trust displayed a caring attitude towards people who used services. Attitudes were helpful, empathetic and staff used appropriate language patients would understand.

“The trust had a clear vision and set of values and inspectors observed that the trust board had taken a number of actions to role model their values and vision. The trust’s strategy clearly articulated a vision for quality and improvement.

“It was also pleasing to see that the trust met the target of 95 per cent of patients being followed up within seven days of discharge.

“There were, however, several areas where further improvements were needed.

"The trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors’ findings and we are confident that the executive team, with the support of their staff, will work to deliver these improvements on behalf of all of their patients.

Angela Hillery, Chief executive at NHFT, said: Our patients, service users and carers are and have always been our highest priority."

Angela Hillery, Chief executive at NHFT, said: Our patients, service users and carers are and have always been our highest priority."

"We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provides mental and sexual health services across Northamptonshire to a population of 700,000. The trust offers a comprehensive range of physical, mental health and specialist services, many of which are provided in hospital, or from a GP surgery or clinic.