Leicestershire Partnership Trust told to improve by inspectors

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The trust that runs the bulk of health services in Rutland and Leicestershire says it is working hard to improve after inspectors said many areas of service were not good enough.

The Care Quality Commission published its report into Leicestershire Partnership Trust today (Friday). Inspectors found a number of areas that were inadequate, including at community inpatient services such as Rutland Memorial Hospital in Oakham, and gave an overall requires improvement rating.

The report did praise the commitment and attitude of staff.

The trust’s chief executive Dr Peter Miller said immediate action had already been taken to improve some areas, such as medicines management and recruitment of physical health staff in adult mental health.

“Detailed risk assessments are being reviewed to ensure they fully resolve the concerns identified. We will be working towards the delivery of the action plans required to address areas for improvement over the next few weeks, with the support of our commissioners and partners.”

One of the key areas highlighted by inspectors was staffing. The report said there was a high reliance on agency staff to maintain numbers, adding “At Rutland Memorial Hospital shifts were covered by using more than 20 per cent temporary staffing.”

Dr Miller said improvement work had been made on staffing levels, and “robust risk management plans” were in place while an “agreed recruitment strategy” was put in place.

He said: “It has been acknowledged that nursing shortages is a national problem, however we have begun looking at new and creative ways to address this.”

Inspectors said waiting times were an issue and there was more demand on some of the trust’s service than it had capacity to deliver. Dr Miller said: “We know that long waiting times is not acceptable and we are committed to addressing this with support from our commissioners.

“Over the last 18 months we’ve made significant progress on our own improvement journey, by increasing staffing levels, changing the skill mix in nursing staff, increasing the number of therapists, and investing in leaders across the trust. We want to build on the significant positive feedback received from patients about their experience of our services to ensure our care continues to be as safe as possible.”

Dr Miller said he was proud that inspectors recognised the commitment and care of the trust’s staff.

“Most people that spoke with the Care Quality Commission said that they were involved in decisions about their care and treatment and that they and their relatives received the support that they needed. I am pleased that the commission has said they observed some very good examples of practice and received positive feedback from patients and carers.”

The full report, which covers a range of health services across Rutland and Leicestershire, can been read at the Care Quality Commission website.