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East London NHS Foundation Trust

This is an organisation that runs the health and social care services we inspect

Overall: Outstanding read more about inspection ratings
Important: Services have been transferred to this provider from another provider

Latest inspection summary

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Overall inspection

Outstanding

Updated 13 January 2022

We inspected East London Foundation Trust as part of our continual checks on the safety and quality of healthcare services. We also inspected the well-led key question for the trust overall.

We carried out announced inspections of the forensic inpatient or secure wards and wards for older people with mental health problems core services during this inspection. We chose these two core services as we knew there had been some challenges including serious incidents and we wanted to see how the trust had responded and if high quality care and treatment had been maintained.

The trust provides the following mental health services, which we did not inspect this time:

  • Acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units
  • Child and adolescent mental health wards
  • Community-based mental health services for older people
  • Community-based mental health services for adults of working age
  • Community mental health services for people with a learning disability or autism
  • Long stay or rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults
  • Mental health crisis services and health-based places of safety
  • Specialist community mental health services for children and young people
  • Wards for people with a learning disability or autism

The trust also provides the following community health services, which we did not inspect at this time:

  • Adults
  • Children, young people and families
  • End of life care

The trust also provides GP services, which we did not inspect at this time.

Our overall rating of services stayed the same. We rated them as outstanding because:

  • We rated safe, effective and responsive as good. We rated caring and well led as outstanding.
  • We rated the forensic inpatient core service as outstanding overall. We rated the wards for older people with mental health problems core service as good overall. In rating the trust, we took into account the current ratings of the mental health and community health services which were not inspected this time.
  • We found that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the trust had adapted, learnt and continued to make positive progress. We found that the trust had addressed all the areas where improvements were recommended at the previous well led review. In most cases the trust had gone the extra mile to ensure this was done in a manner which made a positive impact on people who use services and staff working for the trust. For example, throughout the inspection we heard about the use of trauma informed care and about work to improve the sexual safety of people using services.
  • There had been significant changes in the executive leadership team and non-executive directors, these had gone well and provided an opportunity to improve the diversity of the board and introduce people with the breadth of experience needed to support the strategic direction of the trust. There had also been an expansion to the leadership capacity of the trust and the associated governance, for example the development of a directorate to oversee primary care and the introduction of a chief digital officer to the executive leadership team. The trust had well embedded clinical leadership and this had been further strengthened, for example in social work, allied health professionals and learning disability and autism.
  • We found an overwhelmingly positive culture across the trust. Staff told us that they felt proud to work for the trust and we heard many examples of how they put the people who use services at the centre in their work. The senior leaders including the non-executive directors were open, friendly and approachable. They had worked hard during the pandemic to engage with services in person and remotely. People and teams were able to speak honestly and reflect on where improvements were needed and how this could be achieved. Freedom to speak up arrangements had been further developed and were well used.
  • People participation had extended since the last inspection and we heard of many examples where co-production was taking place. The number of people participation leads across the directorates and services had grown. The peer support workers employed by the trust had doubled to around 80 people. The people participation team had responded to COVID 19 with the development of a befriending service which had recruited volunteers and made over 7000 calls to people who were lonely and isolated. An example of innovative co-production was the development of the service user accreditation scheme where service users had developed standards and 50-60 people had been trained to assess the services provided by the trust. The people participation team were supporting other trusts and providers to further develop their co-production work.
  • We were inspired by the work being undertaken by the trust on race and privilege. This was connected to the Black Lives Matter movement and the work being done by the trust to improve staff well-being. There was a recognition that many of the black staff working for the trust were not alright and listening to their experiences. The trust was working towards the development of an anti-racist framework.
  • Quality improvement continued to be embedded and developed further across all areas of the trust. People working for and associated with the trust talked about how the approach was widely used. This approach was being developed further to look at waiting lists for services especially as referrals were increasing. The trust was making data available to teams to help them use a structured approach to look at demand and capacity of services and develop individual plans to improve patient flow.
  • Work to refresh the strategy was almost complete and had been done with a wide range of internal and external consultation. The strategy on a page was clear and accessible. It provided a focus for the work being done by the trust to meet the needs of local populations. The systems, directorates and services had developed aligned annual plans on a page identifying their priorities and key milestones. The trust employed public health clinicians and was partnering with the Institute of Health Equity at University College London to develop outcome measures for population health.
  • The trust had made a significant contribution through its delivery of the vaccination programme in North East London. This had been delivered at large scale and at speed.
  • Partnership working had developed significantly since the previous well led review. Senior leaders were actively participating and leading in the two care systems where the majority of trust services were located. The trust also had many examples of where it was working in boroughs and neighbourhoods to meet the needs of communities. The trust had taken over the provision of some GP practices and this was enhancing the opportunities to meet the needs of populations. Examples of this work was the Bedfordshire Care Alliance where improved system working was enabling more people with long term conditions to receive the support needed to stay in their own homes. The importance of partnership working was reflected in the addition of a new sub-committee of the board focusing on integrated care.

There were however areas for improvement:

  • There were recurring themes linked to serious incidents. The trusts own recent deep dive had recognised this and identified actions to improve. A patient safety forum had been developed to support this work.
  • Whilst there were plans for significant developments such as a new mental health inpatient service in Luton and Bedfordshire, some of the trusts existing estate required work to ensure they provided a therapeutic environment, for example the health based place of safety in Newham. A rolling programme for decoration was required at the John Howard Centre and works were needed at Fountains Court to comply with same sex accommodation guidance.
  • Several staff told us about the frustrations they experienced in using trust IT systems. A chief digital officer had been appointed, a digital strategy was in place and work to improve the connectivity of teams and wards was underway. Systems to enable staff teams to access live data to inform their day to day work on screens and on mobile phones was due to happen shortly after the inspection was complete.
  • Whilst the inspection identified these areas for improvement, the trust was already aware of them, had highlighted potential risks and how these would be mitigated and had plans in place for how they would be addressed.

How we carried out the inspection

During our inspection of the two core services, the inspection teams:

  • reviewed records held by the CQC relating to each service
  • visited 12 wards across the London boroughs of Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets and in Luton and Bedfordshire. We looked at the quality of the ward environment, management of the clinic rooms, and observed how staff were caring for patients
  • interviewed the ward manager and/or matron on each ward
  • spoke with 76 staff members including nurses, clinical practice leads, a physical health lead nurse, social therapists, support workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, consultant psychiatrists, a clinical pharmacist, an assistant pharmacy technical officer, art therapist and a speech and language therapist
  • spoke with 10 senior members of staff including the head of forensic services, the head of nursing and associate clinical director for safety and security, the associate clinical director for therapies and recovery, the head of psychology, the lead pharmacist for forensic services, the sexual safety lead for forensic services and the drugs and alcohol lead for forensic services
  • interviewed 47 patients and 11 relatives of patients
  • reviewed 34 patient care and treatment records
  • attended two multi-disciplinary team meetings, three ward rounds, two community meetings, one care programme approach meeting, a service referrals and move on meeting, a patient group, a people participation working together group, a carers’ forum, a service wide safety huddle, observed two ward based safety huddles and visited the patient shop at the Wolfson House site
  • spoke with an independent advocate
  • carried out a specific check of the medication management on Butterfield, Clissold, Westferry and Bow wards
  • looked at a range of policies, procedures and other documents relating to the running of each service.

You can find further information about how we carry out our inspections on our website: www.cqc.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-do-our-job/what-we-do-inspection.

What people who use the service say

During this inspection we spoke with 47 patients and 11 relatives of patients.

Overall, feedback from patients was very positive. Patients told us they felt safe, valued and respected. Patients said staff listened to how they were feeling and supported them to understand their care. They were positive about how caring, kind and approachable the staff were. One patient described how staff ‘went the extra mile’ when they were unwell.

Families were very positive about the service. Relatives said they found staff very supportive.

Community health services for adults

Good

Updated 1 September 2016

Overall we rated this service as good because:

  • Patients and carers fed back that staff were very professional, caring and supportive.

  • Access to the services were well managed through a central point of access who were able to direct patients to the most appropriate team.

  • There was evidence of appropriate treatment across community health services for adults that were delivered in line with national guidance and best practice.Staff had access to evidence-based advice, information and guidance. Staff with specialist skills and knowledge were used by community teams to provide advice or direct support in planning or implementing care. Teams worked together in a coordinated way and made appropriate referrals on to specialised services to ensure that patients’ needs were met. Quality improvement work had been used to reduce the number of patients acquiring a grade 2, 3 and 4 pressure ulcer whilst using the service.

  • Staff could access interpreters and translation services, with patient literature available in languages used by people in the local community and in accessible formats. Staff had a good understanding of the different cultural needs and backgrounds of patients.

  • Most staff in adult community services were positive about their local and trust leadership. All staff were proud to work for the trust and positive about their work. There was a governance structure that enabled managers and senior managers to appropriately monitor and review the quality of service provision.

However:

  • There was an inconsistency in the completion of healthcare records. Assessments, physical health observations, care plans and risk assessments were not always completed and readily available to staff working in the services. This meant that nursing staff may not always have a clear understanding of the risks or a patient’s health status when giving treatment.

  • Some staff were not aware of the term ‘duty of candour’ although they were able to describe how they applied this in practice.

  • Whilst the trust had systems in place for identifying and reporting safeguarding risks, to safeguard people from abuse, staff were not always able to decide the threshold for making an alert.

  • The services were making very limited use of outcome measures as a way of evaluating the progress being made by patients.

  • Staff understood the importance of obtaining the patients’ consent to treatment. Bespoke training had been provided and staff had access to trust MCA advisors. However, some staff lacked confidence in using the Mental Capacity Act.

  • Patients were offered a morning or afternoon appointment slot by the district nurses but would have preferred more information about the time of their appointment.

  • Some patients were waiting a long time to receive a service from the wheelchair team, although this had been identified on the directorate risk register and actions to improve the service were in place.

Community health services for children, young people and families

Good

Updated 1 September 2016

Overall rating for this core service Good because:

  • The children and young people services (CYP) had good processes for reporting and learning from incidents. There were robust child safeguarding systems.
  • Staffing levels were good, with good recruitment and retention of staff. Caseloads were well managed.
  • There were effective systems to protect staff and manage risk appropriately. There was good compliance with hygiene and infection control processes.
  • CYP practitioners provided competent, thorough and evidence based care and treatment in line with national guidance. CYP services used nationally recognised outcome measures to monitor performance.
  • There was effective internal and external multidisciplinary team working.
  • Staff sought patients’ consent to treatment and recorded this appropriately.
  • Staff were supportive and caring of clients and families they worked with, and provided patient-centred support in both clinics and in homes. Clients were very happy with the care and treatment provided.
  • Staff planned and delivered services in line with local needs. Service users could access a range of CYP services in a number of locations. There was good understanding of the different cultural needs and backgrounds of clients. There was good access to translation services. There was good provision of services and support for vulnerable client groups.
  • Staff told us that service leaders were very supportive, accessible and approachable. Staff reflected the trust values and vision. The CYP service worked in partnership with clients and the local community to improve services and health outcomes. There was an appropriate strategy in place for the CYP service.
  • There were really robust governance structures and systems in place for the review of performance and risk management information. The information supported the management of the services and was accurate and in an accessible format. Service changes and improvements took place as a result of these governance processes.
  • Staff really valued working for the trust and there were different ways in which the trust engaged with staff including their participation in focus groups.
  • The trust sought feedback from people using the service and engaged them in work to improve services. Changes were made as a result of this input.
  • The service was constantly innovative and actively participated in quality improvement projects. For example the team supporting patients with sickle cell had initiated and hosted an annual conference for several years to share good practice.

However:

  • The health centres where the CYP services held clinics were not always safe or child friendly. These environments were in the process of being upgraded.
  • Staff did not always recognise the terminology of ‘duty of candour’ although they understood and implemented an open, honest approach which acknowledged with patients when things went wrong.
  • There were insufficient arrangements for client transition from paediatrics to adult services because of uncommissioned gaps for 16-17 year olds in therapy service provision. This was an issue the trust had raised with commissioners.
  • There were some instances of ineffective communication by practitioners; particularly in situations where both practitioner and client did not speak English as a first language.
  • At the time of the inspection some service redesign was taking place as a result of decisions made externally to the trust and a few staff felt that the engagement and consultation linked to this could be improved.

Community health inpatient services

Good

Updated 1 September 2016

Overall we rated this service as good because:

  • Staff promoted the privacy and dignity of patients. We also observed staff to be caring in their interactions with patients. All the patients we spoke with told us that staff were kind and treated them with respect. We did not come across any examples where this was not the case. Patients and relatives felt involved and included.
  • Services were safe. There was a good culture for the timely reporting of incidents including all serious incidents and the trust were able to identify themes and trends across community inpatient services. Safeguarding processes enabled the identification of possible abuse and encouraged reporting. Processes for the safe administration of medication were in place. Patient records were up to date, written legibly, dated and signed. Wards were clean and staff were trained in infection prevention and control. The wards were fully staffed and there were enough staff to meet the needs of the patients. .
  • The wards delivered care in line with current national guidelines. Patients received timely pain relief. Staff understood the importance of nutrition and hydration. Patients received adequate assistance to eat and drink. Staff were also able to access key skills training appropriate to their role.
  • Patient admissions and discharges were appropriately planned and managed to ensure effective care and transition with the acute hospital and community services. Staff understood their roles in regards to patient consent and capacity. There was good multi-disciplinary working and inter-agency working.
  • The wards were meeting the needs of vulnerable people. For example, a range of ‘easy read’ and braille information was available to patients. Community therapy assessments had taken place and the multidisciplinary team was involved in preparations for discharge. Patients reported that their care and treatment needs were being met. It was reported that call bells were responded to appropriately and night staff were also responsive.
  • Staff reported to us that they had confidence in their leadership, who they found responsive, and that members of the executive team were visible. There was a governance structure that enabled managers and senior managers to appropriately monitor and review the quality of service provision.

However:

The treatment rooms where medication was stored were too hot. Trust managers were aware of this and taking steps to ensure the rooms were an appropriate temperature. 

Child and adolescent mental health wards

Outstanding

Updated 1 September 2016

We rated East London NHS Foundation trust’s child and adolescent mental health wards as outstanding because:

  • Young people received care and support according to their individual and diverse needs. Staff went the extra mile and formed strong relationships with young people and families, who all told us that they were treated with respect, kindness and compassion which promoted their wellbeing. Young people, families and staff worked in true partnership when planning care and setting individual goals.
  • Staff recognised the totality of the needs of each young person and their family. This included their mental and physical health care needs, relationships, education, social, cultural and religious needs. They met each of these with sensitivity.
  • The service was well staffed and staff turnover was low. Vacant shifts were filled by existing staff members or a small group of regular bank staff who were supervised and trained at the Coborn Centre, which ensured continuity of the delivery of care.
  • Staff worked hard to keep young people safe and to support them to improve their health, develop skills and progress towards discharge.
  • Staff were encouraged to be innovative and improve the service. Recent quality improvement work to reduce incidents of violence and aggression had started to lead to a reduction in use of restraint, though this work was ongoing.
  • Young people were actively involved in the running of the service. This included joining staff at the end of a shift to reflect on how this had gone. They could also contribute ideas through a regular group to improve the service and these were being implemented. Young people also helped with staff recruitment.
  • There were many facilities available including use of fitness equipment, a sensory room, art room and other multi purpose rooms. The building was modern and there were various outside spaces which all young people could access. Families could stay in a family suite on the unit if needed.
  • Care records were of a high quality and included input from young people and families. Staff generally had a good understanding of risk and risk assessments were frequently updated.
  • Effective governance processes were in place. Staff also understood safeguarding procedures and reporting of incidents was embedded practice. Incident thresholds were consistent across the service and all staff knew how to report them electronically. We were given examples of learning from incidents that had led to changes to improve the service.

However:

  • All of the young people we spoke with felt that the food was of poor quality and there was lack of choice.
  • Staff did not record the fact that they had read patients their rights in a timely manner after admission or detention under the Mental Health Act nor that risk assessments had been updated before section 17 leave was granted. They also failed to record the duration of incidents of restraint except for those in the prone position.

Specialist community mental health services for children and young people

Outstanding

Updated 1 September 2016

We gave an overall rating for the specialist community mental health services for children and young people of outstanding because:

  • Staff treated young people and their families as partners in their care. They understood the importance of being kind and respectful. There was genuine empathy and understanding of individual needs and wishes, which was reflected in the work undertaken with young people and their families.
  • Managers supported staff to deliver effective care and treatment. Staff adopted a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to care and treatment. There was strong leadership at both local team and service levels, which promoted a positive culture. There was a commitment to continual improvement across the services. Managers recognised the importance of consulting with staff in the development of services.
  • There were clear processes in place to safeguard young people and staff knew about these. Incident reporting and shared learning from incidents was evident in all services. Teams considered the review of incidents to be an opportunity for learning. There was good evidence of learning and improvements following incidents both within ELFT and in other trusts. CAMHS teams used learning from national inquiries to make improvements. For example, Lord Laming’s report on the Victoria Climbie. There were regular learning events in teams.
  • Most young people, children and families could access services promptly. Where there were improvements to be made, CAMHS teams had used the quality improvement methodology and had adopted a systematic approach to bring about these improvements. There were robust systems in place in all teams to manage referrals and waiting lists. Staff worked to ensure that young people attended their appointments. The numbers of patients who did not attend were closely monitored.
  • Staff were proactive in identifying trends amongst the young people they worked with and were working collaboration with other agencies to ensure that emerging needs were met. CAMHS staff were forward thinking in their approach and looked at how to improve accessibility for young people who might find it hard to engage. For example they were looking at developing a smartphone application . Staff were doing this in their own time.
  • CAMHS teams were aware of the diverse needs of people using the services. Individual teams had undertaken work to ensure that diverse needs were met. For example, Tower Hamlets CAMHS had looked at the needs of the Bangladeshi community and their access to community services. They produced a report that identified that the young people were under-represented within the client group. City and Hackney CAMHS had identified that African Caribbean boys were at risk of becoming involved in gang related activity and were working with statutory partners and the voluntary sector to target these young people. Groupwork programmes were run in other languages, for example, Bengali.
  • The importance of service user participation was a strong feature of the work undertaken by CAMHS. The participation worker in Luton and Bedfordshire had worked with a young person to write a training package about discrimination and confidentiality. There were specific pilots in other CAMHS teams for phobic children.
  • Teams were conscious of the trends amongst the young people they worked with and endeavoured to respond to these in a timely manner. For example in Bedfordshire, a particular school had reported an increase in the number of young people who had self-harmed. The team had provided training to the school. The team was also running a pilot programme with a school to look at the issues relating to online bullying and with another school regarding child sexual exploitation as there had been an increase in these cases in the county. The team were also working with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to support these young people. There was strong working relationship between Bedfordshire CAMHS and the family nurse partnership (FNP). FNP provide a programme for vulnerable young first time mothers. The partnership between the team and FNP meant that staff were able to offer support to teenage mothers who may be experiencing postpartum depression or other mental health problem.

However:

  • Administrative staff in Luton and Bedfordshire CAMHS experienced low morale. They were going through changes in how their work was delivered.

  • Not all staff had completed safeguarding children levels 2 and 3training although safeguarding practice was good and further training was planned.

Community mental health services with learning disabilities or autism

Good

Updated 26 June 2018

A summary of this service appears in the Overall Summary.

Community-based mental health services for older people

Good

Updated 1 September 2016

We rated community-based mental health services for older people as good because:

  • Staff were providing a safe service. Staff were aware of the risks for individual patients, medication was managed well and staff had a good understanding of safeguarding. Staff were mostly able to see patients in a timely manner and prioritised people who needed urgent support.
  • Staff were consistently caring and showed warmth, kindness and respect to patients and their carers. They provided practical and emotional support. There was good evidence of patient and carer involvement in all aspects of their own care including the development of their care plans. Staff went the extra mile to care for patients in a holistic and person centred way. They were very mindful of peoples needs based on their religion, culture, disabilities and relationships. Training courses and accessible information was provided for patients and carers. The needs of carers were assessed and support groups were provided.
  • Practice reflected current guidance and there was good access to a wide range of interventions. There was good use of outcome measures to monitor if services were effective. Audits that were specific to the service were carried out to provide assurance of robust care with improvements made where needed.
  • Staff morale was very good. They were well supported with access to training, supervision and other opportunities to reflect and learn. Innovations to support staff such as the use of mindfulness were in place. There were opportunities for leadership training and career progression.
  • The teams worked well with GPs, the local authorities and other local services and groups. This enabled patients and their carers to experience a more joined up service.
  • Patients, carers, staff and external stakeholders were encouraged to give feedback through a range of mechanisms and these were used to make improvements.

  • The quality improvement programme in the trust encouraged innovation and examples of this was seen across the services.

However:

  • Whilst achieving targets for assessments and diagnosis for memory clinics were being robustly tackled with action plans in place, there was still work to do to consistently provide a responsive service especially across the Bedfordshire teams.

Mental health crisis services and health-based places of safety

Good

Updated 1 September 2016

We rated the crisis services and health based places of safety as good because:

  • There were good levels of staffing in all the services. There were procedures in place for managers to follow when demand for the service increased. Many staff had worked in the teams for a number of years and knew some of the patients well. The teams made very limited use of temporary staff which promoted good consistency of care.
  • Staff managed cases through daily handover meetings. Everyone in the team participated in these meetings at which patients were reviewed, risks were assessed and patient visits were co-ordinated. There was a clear system for rating the risk patients presented and this was reviewed every day.
  • We observed interactions between staff and patients that were consistently caring, respectful, responsive and included both practical and emotional support. Staff demonstrated a very detailed understanding of individual patient’s needs. There was a collaborative approach to care planning with patients. Care plans focused on patients self-defined needs and objectives. There was a strong focus on recovery in all the care plans.
  • Psychological therapies were available and psychological approaches formed part of the daily professional practice of nurses. Staff reviewed patients’ physical healthcare, including support with blood monitoring for patients with diabetes.
  • Morale, team working and mutual support were strong in all of the teams. Staff spoke very positively about their work and the support they received from colleagues. Staff were supervised regularly and appraisals were carried out annually. There was clear evidence of supervision taking place each month and appraisals took place once a year. Records of appraisals included many positive comments about the employee’s progress and development. There were opportunities for leadership development and career progression.
  • Staff safety was carefully considered. There were good protocols in place for lone working. A new alarm system had been introduced that incorporated an emergency call button to the police and global positioning system (GPS) tracking.
  • The target time for teams to respond to referrals was 24 hours in 80% of referrals. All teams exceeded this target. In some areas, the person being referred was contacted by telephone within four hours. The team responded promptly and adequately when patients contacted the service. There was a dedicated phone line for current patients.
  • Staff took active steps to engage people who may have felt reluctant to use the service. There was a focus on understanding the individual needs, preferences, and context of people’s lives. Staff offered practical support if this was the patient’s priority. Staff were proactive in contacting patients when they did not attend appointments or when they were not in when staff visited. There was a clear procedure for further visits, contacting family or friends with the patient’s consent, contacting the GP and asking the police to conduct a welfare visit.
  • The teams met the individual needs of patients. For example, the use of interpreters was an integral part of service delivery. In one team there were two bi-lingual support workers who spoke the primary community language.
  • Two teams had been accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists through the home treatment accreditation scheme since 2012.

However:

  • Patients using the service were sometimes being brought by the police to the health based place of safety from their home, rather than from a public place which was contrary to section 136.
  • Patient records were poorly kept in the health based places of safety which made it hard to know how quickly they were assessed and whether their rights had been explained to them.
  • Home treatment teams were not meeting to share good practice.
  • Whilst risk was managed well, the risk assessment records were not always stored consistently.
  • One home treatment team was not learning from serious incidents.

Wards for people with a learning disability or autism

Good

Updated 26 June 2018

A summary of this service appears in the Overall Summary.

Long stay or rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults

Good

Updated 1 September 2016

We rated long stay/rehabilitation mental health wards for working age adults as good because:

  • Staff on both wards promoted the privacy and dignity of patients. Staff were kind and caring in their interactions with patients and relatives. All the patients we spoke with were positive about staff and said they treated them with respect. Both wards had a staff member who was the designated carer lead. Patients and relatives felt involved and included in decisions about care and treatment.

  • The wards were safe. Staff reported incidents appropriately and in a timely manner. Staff understood and implemented trust safeguarding procedures. This allowed the identification of possible abuse and protection of patients. Medicines were stored safely and staff administered medicines as prescribed. Wards were clean and staff carried out regular infection control audits.

  • Patients had good access to physical healthcare including access to specialists when needed. Staff used the national early warning score and escalated concerns to medical staff when required. Patients were supported to self-medicate at 105 London Road. Both wards had effective relationships with community care-coordinators and local voluntary sector organisations who provided support to patients on the wards and in the community. Care plans were holistic and person centred.

  • Both wards were spacious with a full range of rooms to support treatment and care. Information on how to complain was displayed in communal areas on both wards. Patients had access to appropriate spiritual support. 105 London Road also had a spiritual kindle for patients to read scriptures on. Staff could access interpreters and knew how to download patient information in different languages.

  • Staff reported to us that they had confidence in their leadership, who they found responsive, and that members of the executive team were visible. Senior managers visited the wards and attended ward team meetings. There was a governance structure that enabled managers and senior managers to appropriately monitor and review the quality of service provision.

However:

  • At 105 London Road, the Section 17 leave documentation did not always make completely clear the extent or boundary of where detained patients could go when they left the ward. Staff told us that leave defined as within the ward boundary also included the local shop which was more than five minutes walk away and outside the boundary of the premises. Also, staff at 105 London Road had not completed a risk assessment of all detained patients immediately before they took section 17 leave.

  • It was difficult for patients to access psychological therapies as there was no psychologist in the multidisciplinary teams. There was a risk that this would limit patients’ access to NICE recommended therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapies and family interventions.

  • Some individual patient care plans did not record clearly defined and measurable recovery goals for all the needs identified. This made it difficult for staff to evaluate the progress patients were making in some areas.

Acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units

Outstanding

Updated 1 September 2016

We rated acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units as outstanding because:

  • Patients and family members told us that they received good quality and compassionate care on the wards we visited and this was reflected in observations we carried out on the wards. The care reflected the vision and values of the trust.
  • Despite considerable pressure, patients had access to beds when they needed them. Robust and proactive bed management and regular meetings with internal and external partners meant that access to appropriate beds was usually possible. These were mostly near to where people lived.
  • There were clear and robust governance processes in place. Staff on the wards had accurate and current information about incidents, complaints and feedback and information was shared between the wards, directorates and board. Staff were learning from this information and making improvements.
  • Staff told us that they were proud to work for the trust and that they felt supported and had opportunities for further self-development. We spoke with staff at all levels through the wards and departments we visited and the overwhelming positive feedback about the trust as an employer we received was exceptional. Staff felt that they were listened to, whether raising concerns or giving suggestions about improvements that could be made in the services.
  • Staffing was sufficient to meet the needs of patients on the wards. There was little use of agency workers and, when agency workers were employed, they were employed on contracts to ensure continuity of care. There was a low level of sickness and staff felt well supported in terms of managing their health and their work life balance.
  • Patients were involved in many creative ways in their care. We saw evidence of this in care planning and meetings which were in place to ensure that the patient voice was heard. An example of this were patient led audits which had led to improvements in food and how ward rounds were conducted.
  • The importance of carers was recognised and they were also offered a range of opportunities to be involved in the care that was delivered.
  • Patients were offered a range of therapeutic activities and access to facilities that were varied and met their needs. This included gyms, multi-sensory rooms and other facilities such as music rooms.
  • The staff were all very aware of the diverse needs of the patients and were able to meet each person’s individual needs.
  • The quality improvement programmes running on the wards in London and starting in Luton and Bedfordshire had led to quantifiable improvements in the patient experience and had improved patient and staff engagement with the service. Examples of this included reductions in violence and aggression through the introduction of more activities and allowing patients to keep their own mobile phones. Other ongoing work included supporting patients to eat healthily, supporting female patients to have their health checks and looking at the impact of music on levels of violence and aggression.

However:

  • In some areas, knowledge about the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) was not sufficiently robust to ensure that, when necessary, information about decision specific assessments such as the type of treatment that a patient was consenting to was recorded. The trust was implementing a mandatory training programme on the MCA.
  • Some wards in Luton and Bedfordshire were large and above the recommended number of beds on an acute ward of 16. The Luton wards were too warm.
  • There were some areas where there was limited psychology input which meant that recommended psychological therapies were not always available to all patients on the wards. The psychology services in Luton and Bedfordshire were going through a period of change to improve access to the service.
  • There was scope for some improved recording of patient information, for example risk assessments and restraint, although the care practice was safe.

Community-based mental health services for adults of working age

Good

Updated 1 September 2016

We rated community-based mental health services for adults of working age as good because:

  • The services were well led. Staff, patients and carers all felt appropriately engaged. In Luton and Bedfordshire a large and challenging programme of change was being well managed.
  • Staff morale was positive and staff told us that they were involved in developing the service to improve outcomes for patients. Staff also had opportunities for career progression.
  • Staff were clear about their team role and how they managed the patient journey from acceptance by the CMHT to discharge to primary care.
  • Patients told us they were treated with respect and involved in developing their support.
  • There were good links with primary care and key partners such as the police and housing organisations in each locality.
  • Staff supported patients with their physical health and innovative practice such as health pods in team bases were supporting this work.
  • CMHT staff were skilled and experienced and could develop recovery orientated care plans which drew on local resources to ensure patients received effective support.
  • Staff caseloads were manageable and staff said leadership and support in the trust was good.
  • Staff were flexible and responsive to support patients to engage with their services. They were prepared to see people at appropriate times and locations to help them attend appointments.
  • Teams had access to clear information, showing trends and identifying when improvements needed to take place. Teams also made good to use of learning from patient feedback, complaints and incidents to reflect on and improve services.

However:

  • In Newham North recovery team, staff record keeping in relation to medicines required improvement.
  • The CMHT premises for some CMHTs in Bedfordshire were not suitable for patients and staff.
  • In Luton, the CMHTs needed to ensure that record keeping on the outcome of referrals was improved.
  • In Luton, services for people with very complex needs required development.