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Inspectors hail improvements at Kent and Medway mental health trust - but safety remains an issue

PUBLISHED: 00:01 12 April 2017

Mental health

Mental health

KatarzynaBialasiewicz

The KMPT was rated ‘Good’ overall and ‘Outstanding’ for being caring by health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission

Kent’s mental health trust has been given an improved rating of ‘Good’ by inspectors.

England’s chief inspector of hospitals has found that the services provided by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) have improved following the latest inspection by the health watchdog, Care Quality Commission.

Two years ago, CQC rated the trust as ‘Requires Improvement’ after inspectors identified significant variation in the quality of its services.

As a result of the latest inspection in January, the trust has been rated as ‘Good’ overall, and ‘Outstanding’ for being caring.

However, safety is rated as ‘Requires Improvement’.

CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, and lead for mental health, Dr Paul Lelliott, said: “I am pleased to report that our latest inspection has found evidence of real improvement for the people who rely on these services.

“It is clear that the trust had taken feedback from our previous inspection and responded positively to the concerns we raised.

“We found a number of improvements had taken place. For example previously we found the trust did not take appropriate measures to ensure patients were protected against the risks associated with the unsafe management of medicines.

“At this inspection there was significant improvement in this area. The trust had also implemented methods for patients and carers to provide feedback about trust services and there were examples of where improvements had been made in response to this feedback.

“Throughout the inspection we met with dedicated staff who were committed to their roles. Staff were compassionate, kind and respectful of patients and their families. In all ten core services, we rated caring as ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Good’.

“But we also found some areas where the trust needed to make further improvements, including safety.

“We have highlighted these in our inspection report – and we expect the trust to address these areas as a priority.

“We will continue to monitor the trust and our inspectors will return at a later date to check on its progress.”

Trust chief executive, Helen Greatorex, said: “This result is so very well deserved by every single member of KMPT staff, it is fantastic recognition and reflects the organisation that I joined in June last year.

“One of the most striking things about us as an organisation is the genuine warmth and kindness that is everywhere.

“The CQC agree and have rated us ‘Outstanding’ overall for caring.

“Two years ago, KMPT was rated by the CQC as ‘Requires Improvement’ and since then we have worked with our partners to improve.

“We appreciate that we still have work to do and will continue to work with our partners to make sure we further improve on our journey to outstanding.”

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