Agenda item

CQC Improvement Update



The Committee received an update from the Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust on the CQC improvement to date.




Present for this item were  Beverley Murphy, Director of Nursing, Professions and Operations and Mike Hunter, Medical Director, Sheffield Health and Social Care.




Mike Hunter gave a presentation and a brief update on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection from 2020 which rated the Trust as being “inadequate” and placed the Trust in special measures.  At this time last year, an improved rating “requiring improvement” was published.  Since that time, the Trust had been inspected again with a focus on Acute Wards and Psychiatric Intensive Care Units and it was found that things had improved. It was known that the Trust had improved and recognised that there was still more to do and build on the progress made.




Members made various comments and asked a number of questions, to which responses were provided as follows:-




·                There had been an increase in staffing numbers but there were ‘hotspots’ that were more difficult to recruit to.  The Trust’s 9% vacancy rate in the NHS was considered relatively healthy.




·                Of that 9% vacancy rate, the impact on a day-to-day basis, monthly and six-monthly basis was tracked and reported against specific standards. In-patient acute services had a higher turnover of nurses which could impact on morale.




·                Senior medical staff vacancies were filled by locums whilst waiting for permanent recruitment. Staff shortages were a national issue, it was hoped that as the Trust continued to improve and becomes a more attractive place to work, recruitment will become easier. The Trust was looking at alternative staffing options such as the use of Physician Associates where appropriate.




·                Some issues facing the Trust were national issues – such as recruitment; and impact of covid - the acuity in communities of people becoming unwell and not being cared for. Specific to Sheffield, there had been a lack in investment in its Estate, so since being rated inadequate, there had to be a lot of improvement in buildings. Improvements have been made, but there was still progress needed to make buildings therapeutic.  The Trust was still working with partners in and around South Yorkshire and nationally and looking for capital support. 




·                The Trust was improving against the background of greater need.  Quite often it was about helping people against consequences of a number of factors. Working in partnership with Sheffield Mind and other providers, trying to put what might in the past been a specialist offer, i.e. classed as a referral from a GP and then waiting for specialist care to become available, the Trust was trying to get closer into homes, people and families through primary care, by being able to get into people’s lives earlier to make better interventions.




·                An Engagement Lead had been appointed and she has helped the Trust to understand that there was a mistrust of mental health services in some communities. She was able to act as broker, and develop networks.




·                A lot of time, effort and resource had been put into the Trust’s leadership.  Engaging the workforce was the key to sustainability of the changes and improvements which had been made and there was a need to continue to invest in mental health services.




·                There was a carers strategy, the Trust is working to further develop this.  Engagement work with service users and patients was developing but needed more energy and focus from the Trust.  For people to remain well, people need housing, access to health services, and work was needed to assist carers.




·                A report on a carers strategy was to be brought and discussed at the Adult Health and Social Care Policy Committee.




The Chair thanked Beverley Murphy and Mike Hunter for attending the meeting.


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