PERFORMANCE: A mental health trust that was described as having “centralist, top down and target driven” culture less than a year ago has moved from “punitive to supportive”, a report has found.

A review of the management and governance of Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust published last July recommended the trust put its foundation trust application on hold while it refocused its priorities towards patient care.

The trust’s new management and NHS England’s Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Local Area Team commissioned the same review team, led by former Poole Hospital Foundation Trust chief executive Susan Sutherland, to assess the progress that had been made since.

The latest report highlights a number of areas of progress including a simplification of the targets used to measure performance and increased clinical engagement.

It praises the move from a structure organised around different services in strategic business units to one organised around seven localities, each led by a clinician.

The report highlighted a failure to appoint to leadership posts if suitable candidates were not found as having “sent a very positive message to the organisation that the board is serious about the change in culture”.

“The new management structure… coupled with a new culture of openness and inclusivity has changed the trust from the centralist top down controlling bureaucracy which we witnessed early in 2012 to an organisation that is now openly focused on the delivery of the best possible care at the front line using devolved management arrangements,” it said.