The trust was rated as Good for being caring and well-led and Requires Improvement for being responsive. Inspectors did not rate safe and effective as this was a focused inspection which did not look at all areas. The rating of Good from the previous inspection still applies for these.
This focused inspection looked at the specialist community teams supporting children, young people and their families, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) as well as the Service for people with Complex Autism Associated Neurodevelopmental Disorders (SCAAND).
The CQC inspection team visited the CAMHS service to look at the care records of young people currently using, or recently discharged from the service. They also spoke to young people who were currently, or had recently been using the service, as well as parents, carers, staff and Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCO) working in local schools.
CQC’s head of hospital inspection (mental health and community health services), Jane Ray, said:
“During our inspection of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust we found there were enough trained and experienced staff who were able to give the children and young people the time that they needed.
“Our inspectors heard from young people and parents that staff really cared, wanted to help, and felt that they provided invaluable support when they were struggling.
“We did see some challenges with a high turnover of staff, which resulted in some patients not having the continuity of care they needed. The trust was told they must continue to work hard to address this.
“Despite these challenges we saw committed and enthusiastic staff throughout the trust, working hard to deliver care for patients. They demonstrated creative ways of working with young people to improve the quality of care they receive.
“Credit must be given for the hard work and commitment of the staff and leadership team. We will continue to monitor the trust’s performance and visit in the future to check if the improvements have been sustained.”
Inspectors found the following areas of good practice:
- Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness and understood their individual needs. They actively involved patients, families and carers in care plans and updated them when required.
- Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse and worked with other agencies to do so. They had training on how to recognise and report abuse and knew how to apply it.
- The trust treated concerns and complaints seriously. They investigated them, learned lessons from the results, and shared these with all staff.
- Medication reviews were taking place and documented. Records showed that a letter was sent to the GP and the young person or parent was copied in after each review to update them on any changes to medication.
- Staff knew their patients well and received training to keep them safe from avoidable harm. The number of patients staff had was not too high to prevent children and young people receiving the time they needed.
- Staff made sure that young people who would benefit from care from another agency, made a smooth transition. This included ensuring that transitions to adult mental health services took place without any disruption to the patient’s care.
- The governance processes worked effectively, which ensured that procedures relating to the service ran smoothly.
Full reports for the inspection will be published on the CQC website: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RV5