Combined Healthcare’s journey of improvement featured as an exemplar in new CQC report

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust is among just a handful of organisations to feature in a new Care Quality Commission (CQC) report showcasing how mental health trusts have led by example in raising standards.

The CQC’s ‘Driving Improvement’ report focusses on a select few mental health trusts that, like Combined Healthcare, have achieved significant improvement in their CQC ratings.

Combined’s ongoing journey of improvement has seen the Trust transform itself in the past two years – from being rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ in September 2015 to ‘Good’ in 2017; with every service being rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ – which gives confidence that our services are at a good standard for our service users and carers.

The report states that “the report  trusts featured in this publication show how good leadership can drive significant improvements, in some cases in a relatively short time. We want to encourage others to look at and learn from these case studies to help them in their own improvement work”.

In order to produce the report, the CQC interviewed people throughout the Trust, from Chair David Rogers and Chief Executive Caroline Donovan to other Executives, managers and frontline staff. They also spoke with a number of partners and stakeholders about how they are working with Combined to improve services.

Driving Improvement chronicles the story of how Combined Healthcare has transformed itself, starting with the development of the SPAR quality priorities of Safe, Personalised, Accessible and Recovery-focussed care and Proud to CARE values of a Compassionate, Approachable, Responsible and Excellent workforce.

The developing culture of the organisation, with an emphasis on supporting staff and enabling clinicians to lead has been highlighted by the CQC, as has its improved governance. The Trust’s Raising our Service Excellence (ROSE) electronic patient record and Valuemakers initiative were both featured in the report as examples of real improvement.

In addition, the CQC praised the Trust’s excellent partnership working supporting the coordination and integration of its services across the local health and care system – highlighting the ongoing partnership between Combined and the North Staffordshire GP Federation.

The full report is available to view here.