A community trust has had its rating boosted to “outstanding” in recognition of a relatively fast turn-around in performance by its sexual health team.
The Care Quality Commission upped the overall rating of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust following a visit in May 2019.
Inspectors focussed their visit on the trust’s community sexual health services, which were last assessed in 2016 and were rated “requires improvement”.
During their most recent visit, they found issues uncovered three years ago had been addressed and that the sexual health team was now delivering an “outstanding” service.
This raised the trust’s overall rating from “good” to “outstanding”.
The CQC noted how the service had won clinical team of the year in 2018 as part of a government awards initiative.
In its report published this week, the watchdog praised the way the service supported vulnerable patients.
Nursing staff received awareness training child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation (FGM) and domestic abuse, it noted.
“Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse and the service worked well with other agencies to do so,” said the CQC report.
“Staff understood the various types of abuse and how to identify people who may be at risk.”
The service was found to have enough nursing and support staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep patients safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care and treatment.
Staff controlled infection risk well and kept equipment and the premises “visibly clean”, said the CQC.
A health handbook that met national standards and recognised current evidence-based practice was in use in all areas.
Following the last inspection, the service employed a full-time service improvement and training lead to raise standards.
Service users were able to access care and treatment at a time suitable for them.
“For example, they could order a test kit and book appointments on line, clinics had walk in slots, there were evening clinics and clinics on a Saturday morning,” said the report.
The service was found to now have systems in place to ensure incidents were reported, investigated and learnt from – an area in which concerns were found during the CQC’s 2016 inspection.
Professor Ted Baker, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said: “An ‘outstanding’ rating is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment; I congratulate everyone involved.
“We continue to monitor the trust and we will return to carry out further inspections to check on progress with improvements.”
Expressing her pride over the rating, trust chief executive Tracy Allen said it would not get complacent and would continue to look for ways to improve.
“I feel privileged to work with such a great team,” she said.
“We will not rest on our laurels – part of what makes me so proud of our staff is the way everyone is always looking for new and better ways of working and striving to make continual improvements in the interests of good patient care.
“To have this recognised in such an official way with our new CQC outstanding rating is something we can all celebrate.”