Chief Inspector of Hospitals Rates EPUT as Good

July 26, 2018

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has today rated the services provided by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust as GOOD following their first comprehensive inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Between 30 April and 16 May 2018, a team of CQC inspectors visited the Trust’s core services. Inspectors rated the care provided by staff to be Good regarding whether services were effective, caring, responsive and well-led and rated as Requires Improvement regarding whether services were safe.

Inspectors were impressed by the extent to which the new values of the merged Trust have been embraced by everyone and displayed by all the staff they met. This was particularly important following the merger in April 2017.

The inspectors also found that the Trust’s senior managers were very visible in the core services and many members of staff told them that board members were approachable, had visited their services and were willing to hear comments.

Sally Morris, Chief Executive of EPUT, said:

“We are delighted with our overall GOOD rating and with many of our services receiving individual GOOD ratings too. It’s also pleasing that the CQC found outstanding practice in a range of services. This is a wonderful achievement for the Trust and, in particular, for our amazing staff. It is also a significant vote of confidence in our Trust Board’s ability to improve and maintain the quality of services we provide for the people of Essex.

“When we merged last year we were clear that we are on a quality improvement journey. Our aim was to be rated as ‘GOOD’ in our first CQC comprehensive inspection, working towards ‘OUTSTANDING’ five years after merger. Today’s announcement shows our staff have risen magnificently to this challenge.

“After the CQC’s focussed inspections in November, we rolled up our sleeves to make the improvements needed urgently. Today’s CQC reports recognise our responsiveness and we are grateful to those earlier inspections for the extra impetus to pick up the pace in improving our patients’ safety and experience. The CQC has indicated further work is still required to raise quality in some areas. We fully accept their findings and are determined to continue to make improvements required so patients and local people can continue to rely on EPUT providing them with good quality services, now and in the future”.

Deputy Chief Inspector for Hospitals (lead for mental health), Dr Paul Lelliott, said:

“Overall, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust provides good care to the population that it serves. The trust can be proud of many of the services that it manages.

“We heard about and saw examples of good and innovative practice throughout the trust. This included the use of personalised activity boxes for patients, strong links with community services to support patients back into employment, virtual dementia tours for families and carers and media apps for young people to ask difficult questions.

“Staff were enabled to take actions to improve services and to make a difference. Leaders promoted an environment where staff felt able to suggest improvements and ways to better care for patients.

“Many of the wards managed by the trust were environments that were recovery focused and supported patients with specific needs. For example, the wards for older people had a garden area fitted with specialist flooring, equipment and dementia friendly plants that weren’t poisonous or sharp to touch. The forensic service included a number of spacious flats, each with their own garden terrace. Patients said this supported them to live independently prior to discharge.

“There were some areas where improvements need to be made. In particular we rated the acute wards for adults and those of working age and psychiatric intensive care units, the substance misuse services, the long stay or rehabilitation mental health wards and the community end of life care as Requires Improvement overall.

“The trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors’ findings and we anticipate that the executive team, with the support of their staff, will work to deliver these improvements on behalf of all of their patients. We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”

Read the full report on the CQC website