You are here

CQC find improvements at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust but there is still work to do

6 October 2017
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals,
  • Mental health hospital services

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has told Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust that it must continue to make improvements following its latest focussed inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Overall the trust has been rated Requires Improvement. Full reports on all services inspected are available on our website.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership provides mental health services across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire. The trust also provides specialist mental health services for a wider catchment extending throughout the south west.

During the previous comprehensive inspection in May 2016 the trust was told to make improvements in a number of areas. The two main areas of concern were the health based places of safety which were rated as inadequate, and wards for older people which was rated as requires improvement.

During the latest inspection, CQC found improvements had been made in all the areas that were inspected, although not all of the planned improvements had been completed.

In particular, inspectors found there were still significant delays in assessments at the places of safety, used by people needing mental health services in times of crisis. Timescales were similar to levels at our inspection in May 2016. Some staff told inspectors that people using the service could become increasingly frustrated and agitated the longer they waited.

Inspectors also found the trust needed to review premises and equipment within the health based places of safety to ensure they were suitable and safe for use and any identified known risks where mitigated.

Karen Bennett-Wilson, Head of Hospital Inspection South (Mental Health), said:

“We are aware that the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has been going through a period of flux, with a fairly new senior leadership team who are working through programme of changes.

“This has led to some noticeable improvements such as a change in the well led rating from Requires improvement to Good and the warning notice previously issued in May 2016 had now been met, however, the trust still has some way to go on its improvement journey.

“There were areas we had previously visited where there was still a need for improvement, or where change has been slow to take effect.

“We heard of problems accessing beds for people requiring admission to hospital, and this put pressure on the crisis teams who had to deal with patients requiring a high level of care in the community.

“Despite these pressures, we found staff who were committed and caring while trying to meet the needs of patients in their care.

“We will return in due course to check on their progress in implementing the changes and improving the services for their patients.”


For further information, please contact John Scott, Regional Engagement Manager on 077898 75809.

Journalists wishing to speak to the press office outside of office hours can find out how to contact the team here.

Please note: the press office 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:
06 October 2017

Notes to editors

Whenever CQC inspects it will always ask the following five questions of every service:
  • Are they safe?
  • Are they effective?
  • Are they caring?
  • Are they responsive to people’s needs?
  • Are they well-led?
Since 1 April, registered providers of health and social care services have been required to display their ratings on their premises and on their websites so that the public can see their rating quickly and easily.

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.