• North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust rated “outstanding” by CQC
  • Was previously rated “good”
  • Is third smallest mental health trust in England with annual income of £85m

One of the smallest mental health trusts in the country has been rated “outstanding” overall by the Care Quality Commission.

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust was previously rated “good” but its rating has been upgraded following inspections in December 2018 and January 2019.

The provider, which is the third smallest mental health trust in England with an annual income of just £85m, has also been rated “outstanding” in the caring and responsive domains and “good” for the well-led, safe and effective categories.

Peter-Axon

Peter Axon, incoming chief executive for North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust

In particular, the CQC report noted the trust took over the running of two GP practices in December last year, which the watchdog said “reflected the trust’s ambition to be an integrator of local services”.

In January, the trust appointed Peter Axon as its new chief executive, he is due to begin his role on 1 April, following the departure of former chief Caroline Donovan to Lancashire Care Foundation Trust.

Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector for hospitals and lead for mental health for the CQC, said: “The board and staff at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust can be proud of many of the services that it manages, the improvements it has made and its new outstanding rating.

“We found a number of areas of outstanding practice at the trust that were making a real difference to people’s lives…

“Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and supported their individual needs. There was good leadership across the trust and managers had the right skills to undertake their roles, while the board had good understanding of performance.” 

Updated at 11:21 to relfect Mr Axon’s start date.