• Solihull CAMHS goes from inadequate to good in less than year
  • Comes shortly after service in Birmingham was rated inadequate
  • Trusts working together to reduce CAMHS fragmentation across the region

A children’s mental health service previously rated inadequate has been turned around in less than year with the Care Quality Commission now judging it as good.

A CQC report published today praised the “substantial improvements” made by the Solar service for 0-19 year olds in Solihull, run by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust.

The rating, based on a follow-up inspection in January, comes after an inspection in March 2017 raised serious concerns about the service. It was rated inadequate overall and for safety and leadership.

The latest report rated the trust as good across the board and noted all regulatory breaches identified in March had been addressed.

This included recruiting 15 more staff, more than halving staff turnover and more regular risk assessments of patients.

CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and mental health lead Paul Lelliott said: “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.”

Trust chief operating officer and deputy chief executive Brendan Hayes said: “This is testament to the dedication and compassion of staff across the service… who have worked extremely hard over the past year to ensure that we provide a consistent and high quality service.”

The rating comes after part of the neighbouring Birmingham CAMHS, run by the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s FT, was rated inadequate last week. Trust chief executive Sarah-Jane Marsh described the rating of the trust’s child community health service as “mortifying”.

CAMHS run by both trusts are the product of service reconfigurations in the past three years.

Child community mental health services in Birmingham are part of a consortium created two years ago, called Forward Thinking Birmingham, which combined CAMHS with mental health services for 19-25 year olds, which were previously run by BSMH.

While the mental health trust was losing its young adult services in Birmingham in 2015, it was taking over CAMHS in Solihull, in conjunction with Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands, a service previously run by Heart of England FT.

Last week, HSJ reported that BWC and BSMH were signing a memorandum of understanding to work together more closely and reduce fragmentation of CAMHS across Birmingham and Solihull.