Mental health service is not good enough, says NHS trust chief
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE IS TOLD OF THE LATEST EFFORTS TO IMPROVE
Waits too long and they don’t have the ability to meet demand
MENTAL health services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are not good enough, says the chief executive of the health trust in charge of providing them.
Peter Miller, who heads Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, told councillors on Leicester City Council’s health scrutiny committee that the services on offer needed to improve.
“Mental health services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are not as good as I would like them to be,” he said.
“Waits are too long, we don’t have the capacity to respond to demand, too many people are being treated out of the county.
“There are 1,500 children waiting for ongoing treatment and that is not acceptable to any of us.
“We’ve spent three or four years now trying to plug the gap and now we’re starting to see signs of improvement.”
In November last year, inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the trust and issued a rating of “requires improvement”.
The trust has since teamed up with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, a topperforming trust, to take elements of their working model and try to implement them.
Mr Miller said: “They are a service that has significantly improved and they are now helping us improve our services.
“This isn’t about small changes or building on what we have, it’s about transforming in a different way.”
Health bosses will focus on developing and improving services for people in crisis; prenatal and postnatal patients; people who turn up at A&E and physical health hospitals; children with eating disorders and patients needing children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
Mr Miller said: “A year ago there were 20 to 25 patients a month being treated out of the county. Currently there are 12. Generally, it’s been under 10, so it is getting better.
“We’re using the same processes as Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation and it is making a difference.
“I’m confident we can improve from where we are – otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it.
“We won’t be outstanding in the next year but this is a five- year programme, we’re currently about half way through.”
Councillor Elly Cutkelvin said: “The service has fallen short in a few ways and it’s something we will continue to look at.”
The CQC visited the trust again last month. Inspectors looked at the Bradgate Unit, the rehabilitation unit, inpatient facilities for people with learning disabilities, mental health services for older people in the community and CAMHS in the community. The report will be published this month.
FIVE-YEAR PROJECT: Peter Miller