INSPECTORS FIND IMPROVEMENTS IN COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT

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Community-based mental health services on the Isle of Wight have improved, but staff morale remains low according to inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The health regulator has announced that Isle of Wight NHS Trust has taken action to reduce waiting times and improve how the service reviews patient risk.

Inspectors carried out an unannounced inspection of the Trust’s community-based mental health services for adults in December 2019 and found that:

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  • The waiting time for psychological therapies had reduced
  • Staff caseloads were safe and that the overall team caseloads had reduced significantly
  • Waiting lists had reduced and patients’ risk was reviewed regularly
  • The Trust had an agreed timeframe for staff to complete risk assessment and team leaders monitored this

However, inspectors found that there is no set timeline for additional care pathways to be introduced. In addition, staff morale within the service remains low with a feeling that the trust
does not understand the pressure staff are under to reduce the waiting lists and caseloads.

Dr Lesley Stevens, Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities at the Trust, said:

“I want to thank everyone in the Community Mental Health Team for their hard work.

“It is positive news for our community that waiting lists and caseloads are reducing and that the team is getting better at managing risk.

“We know that there’s a lot of work still to do and working in partnership with Solent NHS Trust we will continue to transform mental health services on the Island and make a positive difference for our community.”

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The CQC carried out a comprehensive inspection of the Trust in May 2019.

In September 2019, the CQC gave the Trust a new overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’, but Mental Health Services remained ‘Inadequate’. As part of that report, the CQC issued a Section 29A Warning Notice to the Trust instructing it to take action to improve its community-based mental health services for adults.

In October 2019, Isle of Wight NHS Trust announced that it would set up a partnership with Solent NHS Trust to continue to transform mental health services on the Island.

 

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