Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) welcome our latest report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following the CQC’s focused unannounced inspection in June 2019. This was a follow up on the enforcement action issued after their November 2018 inspection.

The report recognises that significant progress and improvements have made since the CQC’s last inspection in November 2018. This progress includes:

 Significant improvements to the environments at most wards. “It was clear to see the difference the investment and improvements had made”, as the majority of maintenance issues have been fixed or resolved as part of our ongoing maintenance programme and new system of reporting
 Improvements in ligature risks, including thorough risk assessments by our staff
 Improvements in assessing and monitoring the physical healthcare of mental health patients, including the recruitment of dedicated physical healthcare nurses at Stewart House and the Willows, and improved privacy and dignity when undertaking physical assessments at the Bradgate Unit
 Improved medicines management in all areas
 Improvements in fire safety and the no smoking policy at the Bradgate Unit, including smoking cessation support and alternatives being offered
 Improvements in seclusion documentation and seclusion environments
 Improved patient privacy and dignity at the learning disability short breaks homes, ceasing mixed-sex accommodation
 Significant reduction in waiting times and the total numbers of children and young people waiting for mental health assessments
 An improved vision and priorities have been defined through our Step up to Great approach, and improved approach to sharing learning. We have also conducted two external governance reviews to improve governance processes and structures within the Trust.

However there were some areas that were assessed to have not progressed as sufficiently and these were in relation to:
 Continued improvements of our environments at the Bradgate Unit, including refining our new process of reporting maintenance issues. As a long term plan, we are also drafting an outline business case to apply for funding for a new purpose-build mental health unit for older people and adult mental health services
 Further roll out of our medicines administration technicians and link nurses to continue to support our medicines management oversight approach
 Continuing the roll out of our smoke-free wards at the Bradgate Unit to address ongoing issues of mental health patients wanting to smoke outside the unit
 Continuing to improve the way we record seclusion in line with the Mental Health Act code of practice including changes to our documentation, and
 Seeing through our improvement plans to address the long waiting lists for children and young people requiring our CAMHS support, which have already
had a positive impact.

Angela Hillery (pictured), chief executive of LPT, said: “During my first month at LPT, I have seen extremely dedicated and passionate staff who want to deliver the best for our patients and service users. It is now essential that we have robust plans in place to address the areas the CQC has identified as requiring further improvement as well as to ensure other improvements are maintained and have a quality improvement focus.

“It is important for us all to understand the CQC have not inspected against other requirement notices that were issued at the same time; meaning that all requirement notices from the last inspection remain in place.

“I would like to say thank you to all our staff for their hard work and commitment to putting in place such significant improvements over the last six months. However as I’ve already highlighted there still remains much to do. I am pleased that the CQC has recognised the significant progress we have made as this should encourage us to keep moving forward, and I am confident that we will work together to build our momentum and head in the right direction together.

“Putting our patients and staff at the heart of everything we do will be key to this and is our common purpose, whatever our individual role in the organisation.”

Following LPT’s overall rating as ‘Requires Improvement’ by the CQC in February 2019, we have welcomed a package of support from NHS Improvement. This includes a buddy relationship with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a neighbouring ‘Outstanding’ mental health and community trust, with whom we continue to work closely to learn and share good practice.

The CQC’s report is available at: https://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/new_reports/AAAJ4399.pdf .