Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to have further improved its “good” rating for its services by England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals following the inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) late last year.
The CQC rated the Trust’s services as good for being effective, caring and responsive at the end of 2018. In this latest inspection, Mersey Care has improved its rating of safe, which required improvement, to good and the Trust has also improved its well led rating from good to outstanding.
The inspectors rated community health services, including those in Liverpool which the Trust only began managing last year, as good and safe for being caring and responsive. There were significant improvement in all service lines, particularly in dental and children’s services. The CQC also observed and highlighted many examples of excellent practice at the Trust, which is detailed in the CQC's 2019 report
The CQC outlined a number of areas where improvement was needed and these are already being addressed or are part of detailed management action plans. The report referenced excellent practice, including the Trust’s leading work on ‘Just and Learning Culture,’ which was cited by the inspectors as having “seen a significant shift in the way that staff felt about the trust’s approach to serious incidents,” and noted that the “number of disciplinary investigations had reduced by 54% since 2016.”
The inspection team was also impressed with the Trust’s leadership on suicide prevention and reduction of restrictive practices, which have been central to creating national and international direction in both areas.
Joe Rafferty, Chief Executive at Mersey Care, said: “We always welcome the publication of the CQC’s report because we regard it as a great source of expert insight we can tap into from independent inspectors and, crucially, from the patients, service users and carers that use our services and our colleagues that provide them.
“We pride ourselves at Mersey Care in being a learning organisation and I was particularly pleased to see our rating from well led had improved from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding.’ Leadership doesn’t just come from Board level, it’s every member of staff taking ownership of our desire to deliver ‘Perfect Care’ and I’m delighted the inspectors have noted we have a clear vision and set of values developed by staff and external stakeholders.
“We’re not complacent and realise there’s still work to do but I’m equally pleased the work we’ve delivered to improve our rating of safe to good has been recognised. This has been achieved through a systematic focus on safety and quality improvement across the Trust that helps to ensure the services we provide meet every expectation of the people who need them."
Mr Rafferty added: “We work in a geographical area that has high levels of deprivation and a wide-ranging need for mental health services. It’s great the inspectors rated 10 of our 12 mental health and learning disability core services as good and another as outstanding, but we know there is always more work we can do to provide the services our population deserves.
“This has been achieved during a challenging year when we have acquired community health services in Liverpool, which has transformed Mersey Care into an organisation that provides services that treat physical and mental issues and provide a joined up approach to our care.
“Achieving a strong performance and quality feedback report from the CQC such as this show we have the right quality approach. Our staff have also been rightly highlighted as people who strive every day to give the best care possible and continually challenge the best ways to raise health standards. I’m extremely proud of the hard work and dedication they have shown and that is reflected in this fantastic inspection result.”