Stoke & Staffordshire

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare trust now good

Harplands Hospital Image copyright North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust
Image caption Most inpatient services were based at Harplands Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, the trust said

A health trust previously rated as "requires improvement" has now been described as good overall.

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, which provides inpatient and community mental health services, was rated as good in four areas.

But the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the fifth as requires improvement regarding safety.

The trust welcomed the findings and said work to secure the necessary improvements was "already under way".

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The trust was rated as requires improvement overall in September 2015, but chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, rated services as good overall after the CQC inspection last year, the commission said.

It has been rated as good in four areas, whether services were effective, caring, responsive and well-led, but it requires improvement in a fifth area, regarding whether services were safe.

CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Paul Lelliott said the trust had made "significant improvements to the quality to care plans and risk assessments" since its September 2015 inspection.

He said: "Documentation consistently showed a collaborative approach to care that involved staff, patients, carers and families."

But the CQC said the trust must continue "to work towards seeing young people within 18 weeks from the point of referral," as it highlighted areas for improvement.

The trust's Chief Executive Caroline Donovan said the new rating was "a remarkable achievement by our entire staff".

She said the trust had invested more than £1m extra in its Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and aimed to ensure by March no young person would wait longer than 18 weeks.

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