South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust ‘good’ CQC rating

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Good overall following a full inspection.

It included acute wards for adults of working age, psychiatric intensive care units (PICU) and community services for adults of working age services.

An inspection of the domain, which looks at how well an organisation is run, was also carried out.

The CQC praised the Trust’s new leadership with staff speaking positively about improvements in culture and that leaders were much more visible than ever before despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

David Bradley, Chief Executive Officer, at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am delighted that the CQC has highlighted so many areas of excellent practice and that we have built on our Good rating.

“We have made significant improvements across our acute wards and psychiatric intensive care units which is testament to the hard work of our front-line staff and service managers.

“Thank you to all our staff who have worked hard over the last eighteen months, while adapting to the significant challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“During this time we have improved the length of stay for patients, delivered step down housing to support people back into the community, made improvements in our staff survey results and continued our £140 million building and modernisation programme to improve our mental health services and facilities for local people.

“We are also proud that the report highlighted our programme of mental ill health prevention and recovery to ensure we are able to support people to stay well in our communities, which we are delivering together with our partners across south London following the pandemic.

“We are committed to working together with the people who use our services, and their carers, who remain crucial in our ambition to improve the quality of our care and the design of our services.

“We recognise there is still much for us to do to improve services and we are publishing our new strategy in September that will set our vision for the Trust.”

Vanessa Smith, chief nurse, at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are always striving to improve the quality of care we provide for people who use our services both as inpatients and in our community.

“I am so pleased this report reflects the compassion, hard work and commitment of our staff and that we have had positive feedback from people who use our services, and their carers.

“When inspectors visited the Trust, they were pleased to see that the level of care had remained consistent despite the significant pressures caused by the pandemic, which is good news for people using our services.

“The CQC found that we had taken positive steps to make the necessary improvements from our previous inspection in 2019.

“For example, they saw progress with physical health monitoring for patients in the community with staff supporting patients to live healthier lives by encouraging them to take part in programmes or giving advice.

“The CQC report also highlights areas we can improve, and I look forward to working with our staff, patients and partners to address these together.”

Sir Norman Lamb, chair at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said “I am really pleased that the CQC inspection found our services to be good and whilst there is much more we can be doing to improve, it is reassuring for everyone who uses our services to know that despite the unprecedented year our dedicated staff have worked tirelessly to keep people safe.

“Since our last inspection in 2019 there has been significant changes to leadership with a substantive team of executive directors now in position who have settled into their roles and are working together to transform our organisation.

“On 30 September 2021, we will publish our new ambitious strategy which will set our ambitions from moving from Good to Outstanding within five years.

“A huge thank you everyone who has worked so hard over the last eighteen months.”

The following areas were praised for outstanding practice in the CQC report:

• The trust had developed a Listening into Action scheme where staff discussed issues and worked to find solutions, leading to improvements for patients and the organisation.

• Staff working in the clozapine clinic had access to point of care testing facilities. This ensured that patients could have physical health monitoring completed and have medicines supplied within a 20-minute appointment.

• Patients and carers could access a one-to-one session with a specialist mental health pharmacist. Staff told us that they were proud of the patient feedback that they had received in relation to this service. Patients said they were able to discuss medication and staff listened to what they had to say.

• On John Dickson Ward staff were piloting point of care testing, to measure clozapine levels at the bedside, with results taking seven minutes.

• On LEO Ward staff arranged Diagnostic Interviews for ADHD in Adults (DIVA) assessments for relevant patients on the ward.

• The clinical psychologist on Claire Ward had obtained funding for virtual reality headsets to work with patients on their known anxiety scenarios. This was due to begin in June 2021.

The CQC rated the domains of well-led, effective, caring and responsive as good and the domain of safe as requires improvement.

Full reports for the inspection will be published on the CQC website.

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