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CQC recognises improvements by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

12 April 2017
Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
  • Media,
  • Hospitals,
  • Mental health hospital services,
  • Mental health community services

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has found that the services provided by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust have improved following the latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

Two years ago, CQC rated the trust as Requires Improvement after inspectors identified significant variation in the quality of its services.

As a result of the latest inspection in January 2017, the trust has been rated as Good overall, and Outstanding for being caring. Safety is rated Requires Improvement.

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust is one of the largest mental health trusts in England. It provides services across the area of Kent and Medway to a population of 1.7 million people.

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

“I am pleased to report that our latest inspection has found evidence of real improvement for the people who rely on these services. It is clear that the trust had taken feedback from our previous inspection and responded positively to the concerns we raised."

“We found a number of improvements had taken place. For example previously we found the trust did not take appropriate measures to ensure patients were protected against the risks associated with the unsafe management of medicines. At this inspection there was significant improvement in this area. The trust had also implemented methods for patients and carers to provide feedback about trust services and there were examples of where improvements had been made in response to this feedback."

“Throughout the inspection we met with dedicated staff who were committed to their roles. Staff were compassionate, kind and respectful of patients and their families. In all ten core services, we rated caring as Outstanding or Good."

“But we also found some areas where the trust needed to make further improvements, including safety. We have highlighted these in our inspection report – and we expect the trust to address these areas as a priority."

“We will continue to monitor the trust and our inspectors will return at a later date to check on its progress.”

The report identifies a number of areas of good practice including:

  • Inspectors found excellent use of the dementia care mapping toolkit and implementation of ‘this is me’ life history documentation to provide person-centred care on the wards for older people with mental health problems
  • The trust had made a commitment to strengthen the peer-supported open dialogue (POD) approach and is training a second cohort of students. Open dialogue involves regular network meetings between a patient and their family, or peer network, and mental health professionals.
  • In the long stay rehabilitation mental health wards staff told inspectors about the job taster programme where patients and ex-patients are given the opportunity to work in a placement on one of the units.
  • The trust had a ‘Peak of the week’ quality initiative, which identified a particular area of service quality, development or improvement and shared throughout the trust.
  • Inspectors saw in services across the trust a range of support and educational groups for carers including a carer’s education programme. In the community based services for older people there were support groups such as ‘living well with dementia’. The psychology team offered behavioural family therapy for patients and carers in several wards. Wards also had carer’s champions

Areas where the trust has been told it must improve include:

  • In community-based mental health services for adults of working age the trust must address the high caseload numbers allocated to individual staff to ensure that all patients are appropriately monitored.
  • The trust must review its waiting lists for those patients waiting for initial assessment and those patients waiting for allocation to a named worker to ensure patients receive a service in a timely way.
  • In acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units, the trust must ensure that the service is providing accommodation that adheres to guidance on same-sex accommodation.
  • In the forensic inpatient and secure services the trust must protect patients and staff against the risks associated with unsuitable premises and equipment, including a review of the bed frames used in the service to reduce the risk of ligatures.

Full inspection reports are available on our website


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Last updated:
29 May 2017

Notes to editors

Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust is one of the largest mental health trusts in England. It provides services across the area of Kent and Medway to a population of 1.7 million people.

The trust has a total of 83 buildings on 47 sites that provide mental health, learning disability, substance misuse and forensic services. This includes 16 hospital sites, with 518 beds in total. Ward sizes range from eight to 20 beds per ward. Many services are provided in urban areas such as Maidstone, Medway and Canterbury although the trust provides a number of services across the area in rural locations. 

A team of inspectors, which included a variety of specialists and experts by experience, visited hospital wards and community based mental health services for this inspection.

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.