INSPECTORS have praised the “significant improvements” made by Dudley’s mental health services – leading to the trust now being rated as ‘good’.

After being told it required improvement at a previous Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection back in February 2016, a recent assessment of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) found considerable progress had been made in all aspects.

The trust – which was re-inspected in November last year – is now rated as ‘good’ for providing safe, caring, responsive and well-led services.

A report released today (Tuesday, March 28) highlighted several areas of note, including praise for the staff’s innovation and excellence in delivering the service.

The trust was also praised for engaging patients in positive interactions and activities, based on a good understanding of their needs and wishes, and that work undertaken was “proactive and innovative”.

Mark Axcell, chief executive at DWMH, said: “We are delighted with the Care Quality Commission’s recommendation. It is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff to delivering the highest standard of care for our patients.

“I’m extremely proud of the trust’s achievements over the past 12 months and of staff for working tirelessly to continue improving and developing in a climate that is particularly challenging for mental health providers.

“I’m pleased this hard work has been reflected in the trust’s move from a ‘requires improvement’ rating to ‘good’.

“We do recognise, however, that there is always work to be done and following the inspection we will develop an action plan to build on the areas which were highlighted in the report as needing improving to ensure that we are on track to achieve our goal of becoming an ‘outstanding’ organisation.”

Inspectors said that the trust must improve in ensuring emergency equipment and medicines are checked consistently and all risk assessments and care plans are up-to-date.

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said the trust can be “proud” of the services it manages.

He added: “Overall, Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust provides good care to the population that it serves.

“We found that senior management had continued to develop a new positive culture of leadership. Staff morale was good across most services and staff reported that managers supported them to carry out their roles effectively.

“Inspectors observed improvements across the trust as a whole. For example, since our last inspection, the trust had reduced the specialist community services for children and young people’s waiting lists. Although waiting lists existed, teams had made significant reductions.

“The trust demonstrated a degree of progress in its governance and monitoring of staff supervision, appraisal and mandatory training since the previous inspection. Safeguarding processes were robust and involved a good level of staff training. Trust policies were all in place and in date relating to safeguarding and raising concerns.

“Staff throughout the trust displayed a caring attitude towards people who used services. We saw several examples of staff showing kindness, empathy and putting peoples’ needs first. Feedback from patients, carers and families was also very positive and staff ensured that delivery of care was carried out in a co-productive manner.

“There were, however, some areas where improvements were needed. The trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors’ findings and we are confident that the executive team, with the support of their staff, will work to deliver these improvements on behalf of all of their patients.

“We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”

To read the full report visit