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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Care Quality Commission rates child and adolescent mental health services provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust as Good

Published: 07/03/2018

England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals has rated the specialist community mental health services for children and young people provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust as Good.

CQC inspected Solar, the trust’s specialist community mental health services for children and young people in Solihull, from 3 to 5 January 2018 and has rated them Good for being safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

Inspectors found significant improvements had been made across the service since it was last inspected in March 2017. 

A new and effective management structure had been implemented following CQC’s last inspection and it was evident this had turned the service around significantly. Staff gave examples of how the Trust’s values of honesty, openness, compassion, dignity, respect and commitment were demonstrated through the care they provided.

The crisis team had effective handovers between shifts. Inspectors observed that staff discussed workload, new referrals, current patients and assessments to be undertaken. Staff gave each other detailed information effectively and discussed any risks. We observed mutual respect between the staff and a good discussion about the parental responsibility of a service user.

Inspectors found evidence within care records of effective joint working with organisations external to the trust. Staff worked with local schools to develop education, health and care plans. The service also did joint working with the police and was part of a multi-agency safeguarding hub for children. 

Whilst vast improvements had been made in documenting care records, some work was still needed on care plan documentation to reflect the work undertaken with service users.

Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (and lead for mental health) said:

“Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is providing a good service to the young people it cares for within the Solar service in Solihull. I congratulate all who work for the trust for making substantial improvements since we last inspected in 2017.

“We could see that the new leadership team and staff had worked hard to develop and implement an action plan to address our previous concerns.

“Staff commented that the service’s new management structure had led to systems and processes that were previously lacking, being implemented and carried out effectively. 

“Feedback from patients and relatives was very positive. They spoke of receiving good support from understanding and supportive staff, being made to feel welcome and how they felt there was an improvement in their own mental health wellbeing. 

“Other agencies that worked with Solar also gave extremely positive feedback. Service commissioners said the trust worked collaboratively and effectively with them to provide care for children, young people and their families.

“There were some areas where improvements were needed and the trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors’ findings and we are confident that the executive team, with the support of their staff, will work to deliver the necessary improvements. We will return in due course to check on the progress that they have made.”    

Brendan Hayes, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are delighted that our Solar service for children and young people in Solihull has received a rating of ‘Good’ from the CQC across all five of its inspection domains - safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.  

“This is testament to the dedication and compassion of staff across the service, both in the Trust and our partners Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands, who have worked extremely hard over the past year to ensure that we provide a consistent and high quality service that meets the needs of children, young people and their parents and carers in the borough.  We are therefore particularly pleased that the feedback the CQC received from service users and their relatives was very positive, not only about the support from Solar staff, but also in relation to improvements in their own mental health and wellbeing.”

Full details of the ratings, including a ratings grid, are given in the report published on the CQC's website which can be accessed here.