A recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has revealed that the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust still has work to do to improve the quality of care it provides. The CQC conducted inspections of both in-patient and community mental health services offered by the trust and found that while there have been positive changes, there is a backlog of approximately 100 serious incidents that need to be investigated. This comes after the trust acknowledged failures in the care of two patients who tragically took their own lives in September. The trust provides mental health and learning disability services across the north-east of England.
The inspection was prompted by concerns raised about the quality of care provided by the trust following serious incidents in some of its 167 services. Previous inspections by the CQC had also highlighted inadequacies that needed improvement. The recent inspection found that people still face long waiting times for certain services, particularly in child and adolescent mental health services and for neurodevelopmental assessments. While there have been improvements, there are still areas that require attention.
The CQC report outlined several key findings regarding the quality of care at the trust. It highlighted the need for better management of serious incidents and a reduction in the backlog of investigations. The report also emphasized the importance of improving access to services in a timely manner, especially for vulnerable populations such as children and adolescents. The CQC is committed to monitoring the trust’s progress and ensuring that safe care is being provided.
Sarah Dronsfield, the CQC’s deputy director of operations in the north of England, acknowledged the positive changes in the trust’s senior leadership team and the improved culture of openness and transparency. However, she also pointed out the need for further improvements, particularly in addressing the backlog of serious incidents that require investigation. The CQC is working closely with the trust to provide external support in managing this backlog. The report detailing the findings of the inspection will be available on the CQC’s website.
Overall, while there have been positive changes within the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust, the recent inspection by the CQC has highlighted areas where further improvements are needed. The backlog of serious incidents requiring investigation and the long waiting times for certain services are among the key concerns. The CQC is committed to monitoring the trust’s progress and ensuring the provision of safe care for all individuals.