A trust which provides health and social care to people across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and other counties has been told it has to improve following an inspection.
England’s chief inspector of hospitals has issued the instruction to Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust after an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The trust has been rated as requiring improvement, although it has been praised for its caring and compassionate staff who treat people with dignity and respect and for providing some good services.
Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, and lead for mental health, said: “Our inspection found there was a variation in the quality of the services provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
“We were concerned about the quality of the assessments of risks to people who use some of the child and adolescent mental health services.
“We found some ward environments that were outdated for the delivery of modern mental health. There was variability across the trust in their ability to respond to people in a timely way; with long waiting lists (up to 12 weeks) for specialist services in community health teams from referral to first appointments.
“However, we rated 10 of the trust’s 15 core services as good and one as outstanding.
“The trust achieved ratings of outstanding for ‘caring’ in ‘child and adolescent community services’ and primary medical services and outstanding for ‘responsive’ in ‘forensic inpatient services’ and in primary medical services.
“In these domains, these services were able to demonstrate excellent practice and innovation which went above the standards expected.
“People are entitled to receive treatment and care in services which are consistently safe, effective, caring and responsive to their needs. We will return in due course to check that the improvements that we have identified have been made.”
Areas of improvement identified by the CQC include reviewing how the trust assesses patients’ needs and delivers care and treatment in community end of life care services, properly recording all risks to young people and children in community mental health services and ensuring that patients have access to psychological therapies within a reasonable time.
The trust was praised for providing effective out of hours provision for young people who may be in crisis, working well with other agencies in the youth offending service in Oxfordshire by running an innovative cannabis clinic and the community nursing service engaging will with hard to reach groups such as the traveller community.
The CQC will present its findings to a local quality summit, including NHS commissioners, providers, regulators and other public bodies, on January 29.