Southern Health told by CQC '˜you're heading in right direction'

INSPECTORS have told a mental health and community care service that although it had improved, it could be better.

Friday, 28th July 2017, 7:03 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:12 pm
The CQC inspected several Southern Health-run sites, including Gosport War Memorial Hospital

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which cares for patients in Gosport, Fareham and Havant, was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in March.

In its report, published today, the CQC found changes had been made in the trust’s care of patients but there were still areas that needed further work.

Sites visited included Gosport War Memorial Hospital, the Hewat Centre in Gosport and the Havant integrated community team.

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Paul Lelliott, lead for mental health at the CQC, said: ‘It is good to see the improvements Southern Health have made but there is still much to do.

‘The trust is certainly moving in the right direction and we hope this progress will continue under the new leadership team.’

During previous inspections, the health watchdog found the trust had not always undertaken effective investigations and learned from serious incidents.

In 2015 Southern Health ‘apologised unreservedly’ after the Mazars report found it had failed to investigate the deaths of hundreds of people it cared for with learning difficulties or mental health needs.

Then in August last year its chief executive Katrina Percy stepped down after the role ‘became untenable’.

But the latest report found there had been a notable improvement in the timeliness and quality of investigations with the trust, by January, completing 97 per cent of the required mortality reviews within 48 hours of the death occurring.

Also in the past, concerns had been raised about the trust’s complaints processes but the CQC found they had made changes to improve this although further improvements were needed.

Julie Dawes, interim chief executive for Southern Health, said: ‘This report gives us additional confidence that we are taking the right approach to improving our services.

‘I thank all our staff for their continued dedication to providing the best possible care. We are not complacent and fully accept we have more work to do. We have clear plans in place to improve each area the CQC has highlighted.’