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CQC rates community mental health services in Northumbria as Outstanding

2 August 2017
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Media,
  • Mental health community services

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the community mental health services for people with a learning disability provided by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as Outstanding following an inspection in April this year.

These mental health services, which are provided across North Tyneside and Northumberland, were not rated during the trust’s comprehensive inspection in November 2015, and the trust remains rated as Outstanding overall.

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

“Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provides community mental health services for people with a learning disability across North Tyneside and Northumberland.

“It is clear they are providing a safe, effective and caring service and CQC are pleased to be able to rate the quality of these services as Outstanding.

“We saw an holistic approach to all elements of people’s care. It starts with the assessment and planning of people’s care right through delivery to the time when the patient is discharged or makes the transition to other services. We found that people’s individual needs were central to every decision made.

“It is clear that staff that were proud to work at the trust. They spoke highly about the management and culture at the trust and this was clearly reflected in the positive things that people told us about these services.

Some of the findings from the report included:

  • There was a genuinely open culture where staff were clear about their roles and responsibilities for reporting incidents. Incidents were reviewed and investigated by managers to see what could be done to minimise the risk of it happening again.
  • The service had a proactive approach to anticipate and head off potential problems including low staffing levels and staff absence.
  • The service used innovative approaches to deliver care and treatment.
  • The service ensured that patients’ emotional and social needs were valued and listened to.


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Last updated:
02 August 2017

Notes to editors

The trust is commissioned through two clinical commissioning groups. Therefore, two separate teams delivered services, which work differently in each area.

  • Northumberland: Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group commissions a learning disability community nursing service. This service operates under a partnership arrangement with Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council, to provide an integrated service to adults with a learning disability who live in Northumberland. Northumbria Healthcare Trust delivers the service across four localities and employs registered nurses and support workers.
  • North Tyneside: North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group commissions a community learning disabilities service for adults and young people. The service includes the behaviour assessment and treatment services, forensic support and acute and primary care liaison nursing service. The trust delivers community learning disability nursing, psychology, speech, and language therapy and occupational therapy.

Consultant psychiatrists are employed by Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and work alongside members of the multidisciplinary team. They provide a holistic approach to treatment and interventions. The consultant psychiatrist provides guidance to the teams and gives direction to GP’s in relation to treatments required, including medication.

This report follows a focused inspection on the quality of services provided at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Inspection teams include a range of clinical and other experts including experts by experience.

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?

Registered providers of health and social care services are 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.