The UK’s independent regulator of health and social care, the Care Quality Commission, has this week rated Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as “good”.

The rating, announced this week, follows an inspection in October 2018.

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of community health, mental health and learning disability services in the Burnham-On-Sea area. It also provides a number of regional specialist services to patients from across the wider southwest.

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I have thanked the staff for their dedication to their patients. Inspectors remarked specifically on their compassion, kindness and support for patients and how motivated they are to achieve the best outcomes for patients and carers and the pride they take in their work.”

“In addition to setting out where we are doing well, the CQC’s inspection report also highlights areas where we have more work to do.”

“The rating for our Community CAMHS (Child and Adult Mental Health Service) was “requires improvement”.”

“Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s teams have already done an enormous amount of work including bringing waiting times down, which the CQC also recognised in their report, and I thank them for their dedication and hard work to address this,” said Peter.

The report also notes that community health inpatient services have improved and its overall rating is now “good” while it achieved an “outstanding” rating for caring.

Somerset Partnership’s services include inpatient care for general and mental illness, minor injury units, a wide range of specialist services in both community health and mental health services, and specialist healthcare for adults with learning disabilities. Many of these are delivered from 13 community hospitals and our four principal mental health sites across the county but, as well as seeing people in Trust premises, staff are able to offer appointments in other community venues which may be more easily accessible to patients. Wherever possible the Trust seeks to support people in their own home or as close to their home as possible.

The report highlighted outstanding practice:

• Colleagues in the specialist Deaf CAMHS service enabling young people to access their care plans by translating them into signed DVDs. Staff and young people could choose interpreters who were well known to them and who had qualifications in mental health.

• The steps staff in our community health inpatient service took to go the extra mile for patients, celebrating Christmas very early for one patient and making special arrangements for a patient with an allergy to horses to meet a donkey as part of pet therapy.

• The long stay rehabilitation mental health ward having a culture where staff felt able to be open, honest and speak up when appropriate; colleagues’ professional and skilful response to a serious incident in which colleagues put concern for the patient’s welfare ahead of their own, and their work with patient to help shape the service.

The full report is available online here.