You are here

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust Requires Improvement

21 June 2016
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust has been rated as Requires Improvement overall after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in February 2016.

The trust, which provides mental health services to two London boroughs, serves a population of around 431,000. In addition, it provides substance misuse services in Westminster, and a substance misuse and psychological therapies service to people living in Kingston.

A team of inspectors visited all of the wards across the trust, looked at the health based place of safety under section 136 of the Mental Health Act, inspected the crisis teams, community services for people with learning disability and for older people and visited a sample of adult community and substance misuse services.

The inspectors rated mental health crisis services and health-based places of safety as Inadequate. Wards for older people with mental health problems, community-based mental health services for older people, and community mental health services for people with a learning disability or autism were rated as Good overall. A full report of the inspection, including ratings for all core services has been published.

Inspectors found that facilities at two of the three health-based places of safety, at other NHS hospitals, did not promote dignity, recovery, comfort or confidentiality for people using the service. Premises at the Royal Free Hospital were unsuitable: the trust had not ensured the environment was clean and well maintained and the toilet had ligature points which could be used by a patient to self-harm.

There was limited assurance about safety. In some wards staff could not observe all parts of the ward. Inspectors identified ligature points in wards which had not been removed or where measures had not been put in place to mitigate risks. Some wards were not equipped with ligature cutters, or staff did not know where they were kept.

Waiting times in some services were long - up to a year for people needing psychological support with the complex depression, anxiety and trauma service.

People waited for routine referrals for five weeks for an initial assessment. People needing the personality disorder service had to wait 16 weeks to be allocated to a care coordinator and 12 months for therapy.

Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector Hospitals (Mental Health) at CQC, said:

“Overall, we found that Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust requires improvement. While some services managed risks to patients well we also found examples of wards which were not safe for people who may be at risk of suicide.

“Some wards were safe, clean and well maintained – but we found room for improvement in acute wards for adults of working age. The trust had not completed urgent repairs on three wards at St Pancras Hospital, in a timely manner.

“On a positive note we found that staff interactions with people using services and their families in a variety of settings was responsive and respectful and staff provided practical and emotional support. Staff supported families and carers to be involved in people’s care and offered families access to psychological therapies. Staff said they felt supported to raise concerns without fear of victimisation and told us that morale and job satisfaction was good.

Overall, we have made it clear that the trust needs to take steps to improve the quality of its services. We will be working with the trust to agree an action plan that will identify how the trust will improve the standards of care and treatment and we will return in the future to check if the required improvements have been made to ensure the trust provides safe and good quality services to patients in the future.


For media enquiries, contact Ray Cooling, Regional Engagement Manager (London), on 020 7448 9136 or call the press office on 020 7448 9401 during office hours. Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here. (Please note: the duty press officer is unable to advise members of the public on health or social care matters). For general enquiries, please call 03000 61 61 61.

Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

The inspection team rated acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units, long stay/rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults, community-based mental health services for adults, and substance misuse services as Requires Improvement.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.