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Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as Good

19 November 2015
  • Media,
  • Hospitals

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services provided by South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as Good’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC inspected the core services provided by South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for three days across June and July. The trust provides mental health, learning disability and substance misuse, physical health community services and health and social care services to people across Bedfordshire, Essex and Suffolk.

A team of inspectors, which included a variety of specialists and experts by experience, visited hospital wards and community based mental health services. Full reports including ratings for all of the provider’s core services are available at:

Inspectors rated the service Good for being effective, caring, responsive and well-led, and rated the service Requires Improvement for being safe.

CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (and lead for mental health), Dr Paul Lelliott, said:

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

“We found a strong commitment to multidisciplinary team working across all services and staff were qualified, skilled and well supported to perform their roles.

“Morale was found to be good in most areas and staff felt supported by local and senior management. Effective incident, safeguarding and whistleblowing procedures were in place and staff felt confident to report issues of concern.

“We found some services where improvement could be made. 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. We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”

The reports highlight several areas of good practice, including:

  • The ‘partnership for excellence in palliative support’ was a good example of innovation used to improve care and treatment for patients and their relatives.
  • Services were effective, responsive and caring. Where concerns had arisen the board had taken urgent action to address areas of improvement.
  • In children’s community services outcomes of treatment were measured through education and health care plans which were recognised as best practice. Audits were undertaken against the continuing healthcare framework and the healthy child programme.
  • Staff treated people who used the service with respect, listened to them and were compassionate. They showed a good understanding of people’s individual needs.
  • A training programme called “pressure ulcer food first initiative” had been established by the trust in Bedfordshire. This programme had proved effective in reducing the incidents of avoidable care home acquired pressure ulcers. Due to its success, this innovative training programme had been adapted for trained nurses, published and rolled out to another major hospital trust.

Inspectors said that the trust must improve in the following areas:

  • The trust must ensure that practices amounting to seclusion or segregation are recognised and managed within the requirements of the Mental Health Act Code of Practice.
  • The trust must take action to reduce restrictive interventions particularly on Fuji ward where the numbers of prone restraints were high.
  • The trust must review arrangements for food provision at acute mental health and forensic inpatient services to ensure patients have sufficient choice and receive food of good quality.

Full reports for the trust and all core services will be published on CQC’s website today at the following link:


For media enquiries, call Regional Engagement Manager, Helen Gildersleeve on 0191 233 3379. For media enquiries about the Care Quality Commission, please 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 trust operates in two geographical based divisions: Bedfordshire and Luton, and Essex. The Bedfordshire directorate delivers community healthcare services.


The Essex directorate delivers mental health and learning disability services as well as community healthcare services. At April 2015 the trust served a population of almost 2.5 million and employed almost 4,600 staff including nursing, medical, psychology, occupational therapy, social care, administrative and management staff


The trust provides the following core services:

  • Acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units
  • Community-based mental health services for adults of working age
  • Specialist community mental health services for children and young people
  • Child and adolescent mental health wards
  • Community-based mental health services for older people Wards for older people with mental health problems
  • Forensic inpatient / secure wards
  • Mental health crisis services and health-based places of safety
  • Community mental health services for people with learning disabilities or autism
  • Community health inpatient services
  • Community dental services
  • Wards for people with learning disabilities
  • Community health services for end of life care

The Care Quality Commission has already presented its findings to a local Quality Summit, including NHS commissioners, providers, regulators and other public bodies. The purpose of the Quality Summit is to develop a plan of action and recommendations based on the inspection team’s findings.


Under CQC's inspection model, the Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, is leading significantly larger inspection teams than before, headed up by clinical experts, specialist inspectors and trained members of the public. Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service: Is it safe? Is it effective? Is it caring? Is it responsive to people’s needs? Is it well-led?


Since 1 April, providers have been required by law to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily. This should be done within 21 days of publication of their inspection report. For further information on the display of CQC ratings, please visit: