Better Care

Care Quality Commission report

Message from BCHC chief executive Richard Kirby:

I am pleased to share with you the key findings from our CQC inspection report, published this morning (Wednesday, 27 May).

It seems a long time ago, now but you may recall that the majority of our services were inspected in January and February, when the CQC spent significant time in four of our five clinical divisions:

  • Adult Community Services
  • Adult and Specialist Rehabilitation
  • Children and Families
  • Learning Disability Services.

They also undertook a trust-wide 'well led' review.

The inspection came at an important point for BCHC and our commitment to developing the role we play in the wider health and social care system.

In late 2018, we launched our ‘Best Care: Healthy Communities’ vision, new organisational values and our Fit for 2022 improvement programme.

So 2019/20 was our first full year of working together to bring this vision to life. I am therefore encouraged that, overall, the CQC has recognised our view that we are off to a good start on our improvement journey, one year into the Fit for 2022 programme.

At the same time, we know that we still have further work to do in some important areas.

I am particularly pleased that we have been rated 'outstanding' in the 'caring' domain. This is a fantastic tribute to the care BCHC colleagues deliver for our patients and service users and our Trust-wide commitment to safe, high quality care.

It is also good to see that improvements we have made together with many of our external partners have also been recognised.

In summary:

  • our overall rating remains 'requires improvement'
  • 30 out of 36 core service ratings are 'outstanding' or 'good';
  • we have been rated overall 'outstanding' for caring;
  • five of our six core services are rated 'good', and children’s services rating has improved since the previous 2018 inspection to 'requires improvement';
  • our one remaining inadequate rating (in the 'responsive' domain for children’s services) applies to long waiting times for specialist children’s services (including neuro-developmental assessments), which it is recognised we are working to address.

We can also take encouragement from the statement from the CQC in their report that: “we were assured that the board and the trust was on a trajectory of positive change that would improve the experience of patients, families, the local population and staff.”

CQC ratings grid

With this in mind, we should now be setting a clear objective to continue our improvement and reach ‘Good’ overall in our next inspection (expected in around a year’s time) as our next ‘Fit for 2022’ milestone.

We welcome the recognition that we are making improvements; but we know are only part way through our journey. At the same time, we know we have work to do in particular highlighted areas, although I would stress, once again, that these are areas in which we were already aware of the need for improvement, on which we are working.

The areas highlighted for further and continuing improvement in the report include:

  • make better use of digital technology to improve the care we provide;
  • improve the experience colleagues from diverse backgrounds and improve equality, diversity and inclusion, including black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds;
  • fully implement the leadership programme for 600 managers to promote consistent management of staff and promotion of shared learning;
  • embed our new quality improvement methodology across the trust to support innovation and best practice;
  • ensure that standards of record keeping are met and that care plans are consistently maintained and updated.

There are also some specific actions related to continuing our improvement in children’s services, namely:

  • ensure improvements are delivered consistent (eg. infection control);
  • see through health visiting recruitment plan and reduce large caseloads;
  • tackle long waiting times for specialist services – inclusion services and neuro-developmental assessments.

We are determined to do all we can to improve in these areas. We have been given a clear independent view on these topics and I take from that a strong encouragement to continue on the path we have set, and am confident that, with the ongoing support of our external partners, we can continue the necessary improvements.

In summary I believe the report places us at a point where:

  •  we can be encouraged that the majority of our services are rated Good and that the improvement we are making through Fit for 2022 has been recognised;

  • ·our children’s services continue to face particular challenges, but we can be encouraged that we are making progress to improve and are on the right path.
  • ·we must continue our work to improve our use of digital technology; improve equality, diversity and inclusion; improve leadership development; embed our quality improvement methodology, and improve our record-keeping and care plans.
  • ·we are making good progress on our Fit for 2022 improvement programme, in line with our vision, values and strategy – we should continue on its trajectory and be encouraged that we can make the further improvements we need.

I hope that this message has helped bring you up to date. I would like to, once again, thank all of our partners who have supported us so strongly in the improvements we are making, and look forward to working more with you into the future as we continue our journey.  

I finish with a quote from the report which embodies what we are trying to achieve:

“Patients were truly respected and valued as individuals and were empowered as partners in their care, practically and emotionally by staff, teams and the trust as a whole. From staff through to the board there was a passion to ensure patients and families received the best care possible.”

Thank you for your support. If you have questions or comments please contact me directly via e-mail.

Best wishes,

Richard Kirby

Click here to download a copy of our CQC report.