Troubled Sussex mental health trust makes improvements

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Image copyright Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Image caption Staff from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust celebrate their new CQC rating

A mental health trust criticised in a review of 10 patient deaths has been rated as "good" by a health watchdog.

Care Quality Commission inspectors found Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was also "outstanding" in its care for patients.

The trust had previously been assessed as "requiring improvement" but was re-inspected last autumn.

An independent review was launched after Donald Lock, 79, was stabbed to death by Matthew Daley in 2015.

Image caption Retired solicitor Donald Lock was stabbed 39 times in 2015

It examined deaths linked to patients between 2007 and 2015 and concluded the trust severely underestimated the threat posed by some of those in its care.

Since then inspectors found the new senior leadership team brought an "invigorated and open approach to the direction of the trust".

Staff were said to feel valued and excited by changes and improvements to their services, while patients felt more involved in decisions about their own care.

Areas of 'outstanding' practice:

  • Clinical leadership and involving the patients at Langley Green Hospital, Crawley
  • Improved safety of older people in Hove
  • Physical health care support for patients in Brighton
  • A mental health drop-in clinic for young people in Hastings
  • A suicide awareness campaign for young people in Hampshire

Chief executive Sam Allen said she was "delighted" with the report and proud of the staff.

She added: "It reflects our passion for providing high quality patient care and working with carers, families and our partners to learn and improve."

Inspectors did identify one serious breach in relation to maintaining the equipment, and some trust premises.

As a result weekly checks are to be made on resuscitation equipment, missing equipment is to be replaced and communication and observation in a seclusion room improved.

The trust was advised to make 34 other minor improvements including more staff training and appraisals, and better data management.