Weekly updates and essential insight into the NHS in the South West, by Will Hazell

The state of care in the South West

Last week we published a map and analysis of the ratings the Care Quality Commission has handed out across the country.

The CQC has now inspected every acute trust in the country (although it hasn’t quite got round to publishing all their ratings and reports yet), and it’s well through its inspection programme in other sectors. The map therefore gives the most comprehensive picture of care quality across the country to date.

The national picture makes for fascinating viewing, but it’s also interesting to drill down to the regional level.

It seems that when it comes to the South West, the region is very much in the middle of the pack. None of the five trusts so far rated ‘outstanding’ are in the region, but neither are any of the 12 trusts rated ‘inadequate’.

The top acute providers, as far as the CQC are concerned, appear to be Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust, Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust, and - on the border - Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust. All three have been rated good.

In the mental health sector, 2gether Foundation Trust and Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust have also achieved ratings of good.

Every other trust in the South West is rated requires improvement.

On safety – an area where providers across the country have struggled – only one trust, Cornwall Partnership, is rated good. However, on the plus side, only one organisation – Weston Area Health Trust, is rated inadequate in this domain (in the Midlands there is a whole cluster rated inadequate in this area).

To end things on a positive note, every single trust in the region is rated good or outstanding when it comes to caring.

The South West has its troubles (particularly with regards to finances) but caring is clearly alive and well in the region.

Southern Health admits ‘unlawful acts’

Last week Southern Health Foundation Trust formally accepted responsibility for the death of Connor Sparrowhawk and accepted it made “unlawful acts and omissions” in relation to his death.

The trust published a statement on its website on Friday publicly admitting it caused his death, that it was negligent and that it violated Mr Sparrowhawk and his family’s human rights.

In recognition of its “unlawful acts and omissions”, the trust will pay his family £80,000 in compensation.

Mr Sparrowhawk drowned in a bath at Southern’s short term assessment and treatment unit in July 2013, and an inquest jury found last October that his death was contributed to by neglect.

Hopefully the trust’s latest move will go some way to providing closure to the family.

However, big questions marks still hang over the future of the trust’s leadership, and particularly chief executive Katrina Percy.

New chair Tim Smart is carrying out a leadership review which is expected to conclude in the coming weeks.

New NHS Improvement lead in the South

One more bit of news: NHS Improvement has appointed a new regional lead for the South, although the name will be familiar to many providers on the patch.

Anne Eden, the former chief executive of Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust, has been appointed as regional managing director.

She has been acting executive regional managing director for the South since NHS Improvement was formed on 1 April, having transferred from the NHS Trust Development Authority.

Deep South

Deep South is HSJ’s email briefing on the NHS in the South West of England.

It takes an in-depth weekly look at a region which is one of the NHS’s most innovative, but also one of its most turbulent. The patch includes the cities of Bristol and Bath, through Wessex and Dorset, and all the way down the peninsular to Lizard Point.

Please get in touch with any suggestions about what you’d like to see covered and any story tips: will.hazell@emap.com