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CQC recognises improvements in our young people's mental health unit

Following the re-inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of our CAMHS service in September and October this year, the unit has now been lifted out of special measures.

The CQC rated us ‘good’ in the majority of categories, including effective, caring and responsive, and ‘requires improvement’ in the safe and well-led areas, which means our overall rating has been lifted from ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’.

Katie Fisher, St Andrew's CEO said:

"These results are testament to our CAMHS staff who have worked incredibly hard to improve and develop the service, supporting our young patients with a move from Fitzroy House to Smyth House, and doing so in the middle of global pandemic."

The CQC recognised there had been a culture change in the service since their visit last December.  

They praised staff for treating children and young people with kindness, dignity and respect, and in several cases they recognised that staff had gone the “extra mile” to support the young people in our care.

The carers they interviewed also spoke positively about the service, describing staff as “lovely”, “supportive”, “encouraging”, “professional”, “fabulous” and “fantastic”.

Examples cited were staff who hired a soft play centre out of hours for a patient's birthday and supported another patient to cook with their family via a video call.

CQC CAMHS inspection

Katie Fisher, St Andrew’s CEO added:

“Today is a significant step forward on our transformation journey. Our staff have all worked incredibly hard to continuously improve and develop our CAMHS service, and have done so in the middle of global pandemic, which has resulted in the unit being taken out of special measures.

“Earlier this year and following feedback from our partners and regulators, we recognised that things needed to change, and we decided to remodel the service and reduce the number of young people we care for from 90 to 30, as we look to ‘rightsize’ the organisation.

“We’re delighted that the CQC has recognised the significant improvements made, with the majority of areas now rated as good – this is a tribute to the dedication and skill of our staff.

“But there is still more to do and several challenges to overcome, as we address the areas which need further progress. But we can now look forward to the future with confidence as we continue on our path to becoming a high-performing specialist mental health service.”