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Chief Inspector of Hospitals rates South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as Good

12 July 2016
Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the services provided by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as Good overall following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The CQC inspected the core services provided by South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust for three days in March 2016.

The trust has six locations registered with the CQC serving mental health and learning disability needs, including one hospital site at St George’s Hospital in Stafford. It also provides community health services across Staffordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Powys, serving a population of 1.1million.

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.

Inspectors rated the care provided by staff to be Good regarding whether services were safe, effective, caring, responsive, well-led.

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

“Overall, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare 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 the trust to be well led at board level and this was reflected in the leadership demonstrated throughout the services provided. The joined up approach from ward to board was tangible and this had a direct impact upon the quality of services and patient experience. We were highly impressed by the senior leadership team individually and as a cohesive unitary board.

“We found that the core services to be of a consistently high quality and the passion and skills of the staff were fundamental to achieving quality outcomes for people who use the services. We found outstanding practice in the community mental health services for older people where staff demonstrated care and responsiveness that ensured patients and their families were fully involved in decisions about their care.

“We consistently observed staff treating with patients’ with kindness, respect, compassion and empathy. Carers and former patients we spoke to were positive in their views of staff and stated that they were fully involved in the care of their family member and felt well supported.

“South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is a large organisation and we found some areas 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 ‘Me Tree’ in East Wing contained pictures and information about staff. Patients and relatives said it made the staff real and created talking points about things like hobbies and families.
  • A consultant psychiatrist in the community and mental health services had piloted a tele-psychiatry service. Following an initial face to face meeting young people agreed to appointments via skype which could take place at a time of day to suit the patient, families and other professionals involved in the patients care, such as teachers.
  • The older adults’ community service was engaged in a research programme around the use of neuropsychological assessment to reduce the number of brain scan referrals. It was a cost efficiency analysis and anecdotally there had been a slight reduction in the number of scans and cost savings identified.
  • Services used a range of assisted technology. This was equipment, software or a system used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. An example was a hearing tool to improve communication.
  • The trust were involved in the running of eight community managed libraries in partnership with Staffordshire County Council in order to ensure that patients have access to work experience. The initiative has also assisted in reducing stigma towards people with mental health problems and promoting the wellbeing agenda for local communities.

Inspectors said that the trust must improve in some areas, including:

  • The trust must ensure that their policy on rapid tranquillisation is up-to-date and reflects current prescribing guidance from NICE. The trust must ensure that clinical staff have a consistent approach to the use of rapid tranquillisation, understand its risks, record its use and monitor appropriately.
  • The trust must comply with the Mental Health Act Code of Practice requirements for documenting observations and decision making in any episodes of seclusion and long-term segregation.


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

The following core services were inspected:

  • Community-based mental health services for adults of working age
  • Child and adolescent mental health wards
  • Community mental health services for children, young people and families
  • Community-based mental health services for older people
  • Mental health crisis services and health-based places of safety
  • Community mental health services for people with learning disabilities
  • Children, Young People and Families Services

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 2015, 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. Further information on the display of CQC ratings.

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.