• Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust one of five mental health and learning disability trusts with “outstanding” rating 
  • Chief executive says supporting staff wellbeing was key to achievement 
  • Safety of services raised from “requires improvement” to “good”

A fifth mental health trust has been rated “outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission.

Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust – which was previously rated “good” – received the rating last month.

The trust was rated “good” across the safe, effective and responsive categories, and was awarded “outstanding” for how caring and well-led the services are following an inspection in March this year.

The results are an improvement from a January 2018 inspection, when the trust was given a “requires improvement” rating for how safe services are, while the remaining categories were awarded “good”.

Out of the 11 trust services that the CQC inspects, seven are now rated “good” while four are rated “outstanding”.

Tom Cahill, who was named HSJ chief executive of the year in 2017, said: “It was about mobilising our staff, supporting them, ensuring they have the tools, looking after their wellbeing and really a commitment by everybody to deliver great care and great outcomes.

“We have a set of values in the trust that everybody aspires to – welcoming, kind, professional, respectful – and they really underpin what we do.

“We try to be optimistic; we try to follow the optimistic workplace model. We have lots of health and wellbeing support for our staff.”

The trust provides physical and mental health services, as well as disability services, for patients across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Norfolk and North Essex.

During the latest inspection, six services were assessed, including child and adolescent mental health wards, community-based mental health services and wards for older people with mental health problems.

Inspectors found “significant improvements” across the core services, stating the trust had responded “in a very positive way” to feedback following last year’s inspection.

The report stated: “The senior leadership team had been instrumental in delivering quality improvement and there was a true sense of involvement from staff, patients and carers towards driving service improvement across all areas.”

Mr Cahill said the key focus will be to achieve “outstanding” across all of the trust’s services.

He added: “We want to continue to deliver high quality care. We know people occasionally don’t get it right; we want to get it right for them.

“Somebody will read that HPFT was ‘outstanding’ and they will say, ‘Well, it wasn’t outstanding for me’.

“I want to change that. I want it to be outstanding for everybody.”