Inspectors praise Oxfordshire health trust but concerns over safety

Oxford Health NNL-180622-151316001
Oxford Health NNL-180622-151316001

The organisation which runs a number of health services in Oxfordshire was praised by inspectors but concerns remained over safety in some of its operations.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust was rated as ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a report published on Thursday (August 30) following inspections earlier this year.

The trust, which provides community health, mental health and specialised health services in Oxfordshire and beyond, welcomed the findings and said improvements are already being made to address the safety concerns.

Chief executive Stuart Bell said: “I am very proud of our caring staff for their contribution to delivering and improving our services before, during and after the CQC inspection.

“We made a major commitment to improving our services back in 2014 and we value the insights that our own efforts and this recent inspection process have given us.

“All of this helps our learning and we continue to work together to improve our services to benefit the people we serve.”

Oxford Health was given an overall rating of ‘good’ based on weighted scoring across all the services inspected.

No enforcement notices were issued and 12 out of 16 of the trust’s services were rated ‘good’ and one was ‘outstanding’.

Leadership training was widely available to staff and there were good working governance systems, the CQC found.

The trust was responsive to people’s needs across services especially in a crisis, including reducing the need for police involvement in mental health crises.

Patients and staff were able to give feedback; they knew how to raise concerns and there was good learning from incidents and complaints. Few services had long waiting lists.

There was strong team working across most services, care and treatment was well monitored and findings from this were used to make improvements, so that services were overall effective.

Perhaps most importantly from the trust’s perspective, staff were found to be caring and noted to be ‘treating patients with kindness, courtesy and sensitivity’.

Improvements are required in safety to ensure that across all trust services the same high standards are observed.

But seven out of the core 16 mental health and community teams run by the trust were rated as ‘requires improvement’ for safe.

Plans to address this includes the establishment of a ‘healthcare improvement centre’, which is using international best practice and practical expertise to foster improvement skills, for all levels of trust staff.

The ‘good’ rating pulls together findings from a CQC visit to the trust in March and April to check the quality of eight core services, with results from previous inspections of eight other community and mental health services – unchanged since a CQC inspection in June, 2016.

To read the report, click here.