Children’s mental health unit rated ‘outstanding’

A child and adolescent mental health ward at a north London trust has been rated ‘outstanding’ overall by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

North East London NHS Foundation Trust’s Brookside Unit was rated ‘outstanding’ for being caring and well-led. It was rated ‘good’ for being safe, effective and responsive, following the inspection in August 2017.

Inspectors found that: strong and inspirational leadership at the trust had transformed the Brookside Unit, and over an 18 month period the ratings went from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’; staff were fully committed to ensuring that they provided quality services and continued to improve through innovation; staff treated young people and their families as partners in their care; there was genuine empathy and understanding of individual needs and wishes; and there was a strong, visible person-centre culture.

Staff morale was high and had steadily improved since the ward re-opened in September 2016, and the leadership governance and culture of the service drove improvement and underpinned the delivery of high quality person-centred care.

Furthermore, there were high levels of staff satisfaction, managers were prepared for staffing vacancies and ensured there were sufficient staff on duty, and families could stay in a family suite on site if needed.

Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector (lead for mental health), said: “Young people told us that they received excellent care, that staff were amazing and that they felt safe on the ward. I am very pleased that our inspectors also concluded that unit was providing outstanding care. North East London NHS Foundation Trust’s Brookside Unit has come a long way since the trust closed it after a previous ‘inadequate’ rating.”