The Care Quality Commission has issued a warning notice to Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust - the first mental health provider inspected under its new inspection regime.
This action was taken as the regulator published its first two reports for non-acute trusts which have been investigated using the so-called post-Francis inspection methodology alongside beefed up and specialised inspection teams.
Bridgewater Community Healthcare Trust - a community trust in the North West - was the other provider inspected.
The CQC concluded that CWPT had provided “some good and outstanding mental health services” but pointed to a number of areas for improvement.
Its above average bed occupancy “had a negative impact” on its ability to provide separate accommodation for men and women, while staff shortages on some wards reduced their ability “to provide consistent and compassionate care”.
The inspection report comes as Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership is undergoing a significant reform. The CQC said that while some staff reported feeling well informed, “others told us they felt unsupported by the trust and were afraid to raise concerns”.
Following the inspection, the CQC has issued the trust with a warning notice, meaning it must improve standards or face more serious regulatory action.
Trust chief executive Rachel Newson said: “We recognise there are a number of areas where we still need to improve, particularly around how we spread our good practice to all areas of our trust.
“We are already working to make sure we focus on these issues and have clear plans to address the concerns that have been raised.”
Bridgewater Community Healthcare was one of the first community trusts inspected using the CQC’s new methodology.
The care regulator found the trust “provided safe and effective” services, and that patients were “overwhelmingly positive” about the care they received.
However, it also identified “a range of errors and weaknesses in risk and quality reporting” at Newton Hospital – one of the trust’s two inpatient facilities.
This finding led it to impose a single compliance action. Pockets of staff vacancies had also affected “timely access to services in some cases”, the report adds.