June 2, 2017
New report praises NHS Somerset Trust for improvements in service

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has this week welcomed 'significant improvements' to services provided by Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust following its latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Overall, the trust, which provides mental health and community services in Somerset including the Burnham-On-Sea area, has been rated 'Good' as a result of an inspection in March 2017. At its previous comprehensive inspection in September 2015, the trust had only been rated as 'Requires Improvement'.

Inspectors said this week that there have been significant improvements across the trust.

Seven services previously rated as 'Requires Improvement' are now rated 'Good', including acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units, wards for older people with mental health problems, community-based mental health services for adults of working age, community health services for adults, minor injuries unit /urgent care and sexual health. Community mental health services for people with learning disabilities or autism moved from a rating of 'Inadequate' to 'Good'.

Karen Bennett -Wilson, CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspection (Mental Health), said: "In September 2015, our inspectors identified the need for improvement in a number of key areas. When we returned to re-inspect in March - we had initially intended to focus on those areas to see if improvements had been made. However, CQC intelligence and the evidence provided by the trust indicated there had been some dramatic changes within the trust which meant there was an opportunity to look more widely, across the trust."

"It was encouraging to find that Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust had taken to heart our original inspection report and worked to ensure significant improvement has been made, leading to an improved quality of care for people using these services."

"This inspection found that the trust was well led but the leadership team acknowledged that there is still further work to be do. I am confident that the leadership team will be able to implement the further improvements required but also sustain those changes already made."

Out of 17 core services provided by the trust, 15 are now rated 'Good' overall. The rating for community mental health services for people with learning disabilities or autism changed from and overall rating of 'Inadequate' to 'Good' but was rated 'outstanding' for the well-led key question (are services safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led). Reflecting the marked improvements and the way the changes had been implemented by the leaders of the service.

Although there were improvements in safety in some areas, inspectors found there continued to be concerns in community health inpatient units, acute wards for adults of working age, psychiatric intensive care units and community health services for adults.


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