CQC Rates Trust ‘Outstanding’ for the Third Time
In January, the Care Quality Commission announced that the Trust was rated ‘Outstanding’. This made ELFT the first community and mental health trust in England to achieve this rating for a third time. The assessment is all the more meaningful because it took place amidst the extraordinary challenges of recent times.
The rating was awarded after an inspection programme that included:
- An announced core service inspection of mental health wards for older people
- An announced core service inspection of forensics inpatient wards
- Attendance at various meetings, forums and focus groups by inspectors
- A well-led inspection of the Trust from 26-27 October 2021
The CQC report stated that ELFT’s ‘overwhelmingly positive culture supported patients to achieve good outcomes’. Staff told them they felt proud to work for ELFT and inspectors heard many examples of how staff put the people who use their services at the centre of their work. They found senior leaders were open, friendly and approachable. People and teams were able to speak honestly and reflect on where improvements were needed and how this could be achieved.
Inspectors found that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Trust had adapted, learnt and continued to make positive progress
The CQC were ‘inspired’ by the work being undertaken on race and privilege connected to the Black Lives Matter movement and the work taking place to improve staff wellbeing
They found that Quality Improvement continued to be embedded and developed further across the Trust. 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
People Participation had extended since the last inspection and inspectors heard many examples where co-production was taking place. The People Participation team had responded to COVID with the development of a befriending service which had recruited volunteers and supported people who were lonely and isolatedLeadership
The assessor noted that there had been significant changes in the executive leadership team and non-executive directors – and these had 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.