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CQC rates child and adolescent mental health services provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust as Good

8 March 2018
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals,
  • Mental health community services,
  • Mental health hospital services

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the specialist community mental health services for children and young people at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust as Good.

CQC inspected Solar, the trust’s specialist community mental health services for children and young people, from 3 to 5 January 2018. The inspection was to check if improvements had been made since we last inspected in March 2017 when the service was rated Inadequate.

Inspectors found significant improvements had been made across the service which was rated Good for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

A new and effective management structure had been implemented following CQC’s last inspection and it was evident this had turned the service around significantly. The trust's values were honesty, openness, compassion, dignity, respect and commitment. Staff gave examples of how they were demonstrated through the care they provided.

The crisis team had effective handovers between shifts. Inspectors observed that staff discussed workload, new referrals, current patients and assessments to be undertaken. Staff gave each other detailed information effectively and discussed any risks. We observed mutual respect between the staff and a good discussion about the parental responsibility of a patient.

Inspectors found evidence within care records of effective joint working with organisations external to the trust. Staff worked with local schools to develop education, health and care plans. The service also did joint working with the police and was part of a multi-agency safeguarding hub for children.

Whilst vast improvements had been made in documenting care records, some work was still needed on care plan documentation to reflect the work undertaken with patients.

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

“Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is providing a good service to the young people it cares for within the Solar service. I congratulate all who work for the trust for making substantial improvements since we last inspected in 2017."

“We could see that the new leadership team and staff had worked hard to develop and implement an action plan to address our previous concerns."

“Staff commented that the service’s new management structure had led to systems and processes that were previously lacking, being implemented and carried out effectively."

“Feedback from patients and relatives was very positive. They spoke of receiving good support from understanding and supportive staff, being made to feel welcome and how they felt there was an improvement in their own mental health wellbeing."

“Other agencies that worked with Solar also gave extremely positive feedback. Service commissioners said the trust worked collaboratively and effectively with them to provide care for children, young people and their families."

“There were some areas where improvements were needed and 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 the necessary improvements. We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”

Full details of the ratings, including a ratings grid, are given in the report published on our website.


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Last updated:
08 March 2018

Notes to editors

The Solar Emotional Wellbeing and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provide multidisciplinary mental health services to children and young people with mental health difficulties and disorders. The service aims to ensure effective assessment, treatment and therapeutic support for them and their families and works in collaboration with two independent partners.

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?

Under CQC’s current programme of inspections, we aim to inspect every NHS trust at least once between June 2017 and spring 2019. We use information that we hold on each trust to inform our decision about when and what to inspect.

During the unannounced inspection we will normally look in detail at certain core services - based on previous inspection findings, as well as wider intelligence - followed by an inspection of how well-led a provider is.

Our previous inspections of NHS trusts have shown a strong link between the quality of overall management of a trust and the quality of its services. For that reason, all trust inspections now include inspection of the well-led key question at the trust level.

Each inspection team is led by a member of CQC’s staff and includes specialist professional advisors such as clinicians and pharmacists. Where appropriate, an inspection team will also include Experts by Experience. These are people who have experienced care personally or experience of caring for someone who has received a particular type of care.

How CQC monitors, inspects and regulates NHS trusts

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.