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Care Quality Commission rates Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust as Outstanding

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has praised Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

CQC inspected Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, which is responsible for the delivery of a number of services for children and adults across the county, between April and June this year and found it offered excellent care and treatment, particularly in its community sexual health services. As a result, the trust is rated 'Outstanding' overall.

The trust is also rated as 'Outstanding' for whether its services are caring and well-led. It is rated 'Good' for being safe, effective and responsive.

When the trust was previously inspected, in 2018, it was rated 'Good' overall.

Care Quality Commission rates Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust as 'Outstanding'. (15904387)
Care Quality Commission rates Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust as 'Outstanding'. (15904387)

CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “We were impressed by the high-quality care and treatment we found at Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

“A caring culture ran through the organisation. We saw warm and generous interactions between people and staff which had a positive impact on patient wellbeing. Underpinning this was a leadership team that prioritised putting people at the heart of their care by supporting front-line staff with the right strategies and polices.

“The trust’s community sexual health services treated people with dignity and respect, working particularly successfully to support vulnerable people. This service made itself accessible by enabling people to take sexual health checks and obtain results without attending a clinic. Staff worked collaboratively, and leaders made good use of information about the service’s performance to drive continual improvement. All this led to an excellent standard of care.

Care Quality Commission rates Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust as 'Outstanding'. (15904398)
Care Quality Commission rates Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust as 'Outstanding'. (15904398)

"In community health services for children and young people, we found compassionate staff who empowered patients to be as independent as possible.

“However, there were some issues for the trust to address. There were not always enough nurses and health visitors in community services for children and young people. We also found gaps in staff training, notably regarding sepsis, although the trust had begun addressing this.

“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.”

However, the trust has been told it must make one improvement: Services for children and young people must have an adequate number of nurses with the right mix of skills.

Inspectors witnessed areas of outstanding practice across the trust, including:

• Innovative use of technology to enhance care for young people, including a text-based service to contact school nursing services and a digital platform offering information about health and healthy lifestyles

• Successful working with health and social care partners to deliver effective palliative care

• The employment of a specialist HIV pharmacist in community sexual health services, and effective engagement with patients and external healthcare professionals to improve understanding of sexual health.

Matthew Winn, the trust's chief executive, said: “I am incredibly proud that the CQC has rated our Trust ‘Outstanding’. Staff across the Trust have worked hard to develop innovative and accessible services for local residents and this rating reflects their dedication and passion for delivering the very best outcomes for the communities we serve. I was delighted the CQC recognised what I witness all the time, that our staff are caring and compassionate in the way they provide care to local residents - all of our local teams have so much to be proud about.”

Tracey Cooper, the trust’s service director for ambulatory services added: “Our staff are making a real difference on a daily basis to the quality of people’s lives, enabling them to access care in innovative ways closer to home or in their local community; often avoiding the need for hospital-based care. I am so pleased that their commitment and achievements have been recognised by the Care Quality Commission - I couldn’t be prouder!”

John Peberdy, service director of children & young people’s services added: “Ensuring children get the very best start in life and supporting families to achieve this is at the centre of all we do. The complex levels of care delivered, including in the home setting, and the commitment from staff to putting families first is simply phenomenal. I look forward to continuing to build on this fantastic rating from the Care Quality Commission and commend staff across our services for their ongoing passion and commitment.”

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