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CQC inspectors recognise improvements made at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

24 August 2016
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust as Good after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission found that a number of its mental health services had improved.

The trust provides community health, mental health and specialised health services across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Berkshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset.

On its previous comprehensive inspection in September and October 2015, the trust had been rated as Requires Improvement overall. At the time the trust was told that it must make improvements in three core mental health services:

  • Acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units,
  • Long stay/rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults, and
  • Community-based mental health services for adults of working age.

In June, a team of CQC inspectors returned to check if the trust had made required improvements. As a result of that inspection, the trust’s overall rating has been revised to Good. Full reports on all core services are available.

On the acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units, inspectors found there was better management of risks to patients from potential ligature anchor points; improved assessment and management of the physical health of patients and the introduction of a fuller schedule of ward activities.

In community-based mental health services, staff had improved the quality of clinical assessments and care plans.

On the rehabilitation ward for working age adults, changes had been made to bring the ward in line with guidance on the provision of same-sex accommodation, there were more personalised and holistic care plans, and there was the removal of unnecessary blanket restrictions and improvements in ward governance.

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

“At our previous inspection we found a variation in the quality of the mental health services provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. I am encouraged by the significant improvements since then in the care and treatment of patients and in the care environments.

“We found that generally the trust had taken action to identify and manage ligature points that could endanger people at risk of suicide. Patients and carers told us they felt highly involved. Although the trust were trying to mitigate the issue, staffing levels remain an area of concern and we still require improvement in safety.

“However we have found all services to be effective, caring and well led. I anticipate that the trust will continue to work on those areas which require further improvement.”

The report highlights areas of good practice including:

  • The acute service had recently implemented a new procedure which had reduced the incidence of patients failing to return from leave by 80%.
  • There were good links with the local charities Men in Sheds and Restore. This link, with full encouragement by staff, enabled patients to gain valuable skills and formal qualifications to aid reintegration into the community.
  • In community health, referrals were triaged, allowing patients to have options about appointment times and venues which suited their circumstances. The service could respond flexibly to peoples changing needs by offering more intensive support.


For further information please contact CQC Regional Engagement Manager, John Scott on 07789 875809 or, for media enquiries, 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

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust provides community health, mental health and specialised health services across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Berkshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset (BaNES).

In Oxfordshire, the trust provides a range of community and inpatient settings, including eight community hospital sites with ten wards.  Mental health teams provide a range of specialist healthcare services in community and inpatient settings across Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and BaNES.   Additionally, the trust provides forensic mental health and eating disorder services across a wider geographical area including patients in Berkshire, the wider Thames Valley and Wales.

When we undertook our comprehensive inspection in September/October 2015, we rated nine of the 14 core services provided by the trust as Good and one (community health services for children, young people and families) as Outstanding. This re-inspection assessed three of the core services that we had rated as requires improvement. We have now revised the ratings of these three core services to Good.

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.