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Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: CQC Review

Volume 747: debated on Tuesday 26 March 2024

On 30 January 2024, I requested that the Care Quality Commission conduct a special review of mental health services in Nottinghamshire under section 48 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The review includes three strands of activity.

Part 1 is a rapid review of the evidence related to the care of Valdo Calocane. I have asked the CQC to report on part 1 by June, with the aim of providing much needed answers to the families of Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates whose lives were taken so brutally in the horrific events in June 2023.

Part 2 is an assessment of patient safety and the quality of care provided by Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to improve the standard of mental health care at the trust.

Part 3 is an assessment of progress made at Rampton Hospital since the most recent CQC inspection activity to offer an up-to-date assessment of the service provided at the hospital.

Today the CQC have reported on part 2 and 3 of this review.

I am grateful to the CQC for the rapid and extensive work that has been undertaken as part of this review. As set out in its report, the CQC has found highly concerning failings in the trust’s ability to manage demand for services and access to care, staffing, and issues of leadership at the trust. This is not acceptable and must be improved. The trust has already begun work to address areas of risk such as patients who are waiting to access care. The trust board have accepted the recommendations made by the CQC and will address each recommendation through an improvement plan.

Since I asked for the review, the trust has been evaluated by NHS England and given a rating within their national oversight framework of 4, which means it now subject to regulatory action and the highest degree of national oversight. This includes being entered into the national recovery support programme. An improvement director has been appointed to manage the trust’s progress through the recovery programme, and delivery of its improvement plan, which is being supported by system partners and NHS England.

I expect to see significant action and improvements. I have asked NHS England to work with my officials to provide assurance that their programme will provide targeted support for the issues identified, and to be updated on improvements at the trust.

I also asked that the CQC, as part of its review, assess the services at Rampton Hospital to inform my decision about the reauthorisation of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a provider of high-security psychiatric services. The CQC has found that, while some progress has been made at Rampton since its last inspection, there are still significant improvements to be made. Following this assessment and the recommendations from NHS England’s assessment across all three high-security hospitals, I have decided to reauthorise Rampton for a period of 12 months only, with conditions attached to address the concerns raised by the CQC and to continue to sustain the improvements it found at the hospital. I will review the progress made against these conditions before the end of the 12-month period and make a further decision about whether to renew the authorisation and what further steps are necessary, if any.

The Government remain committed to expanding and improving mental health services. This is reflected in the investment that has gone into services, with NHS spending on mental health increasing by £4.7 billion in cash terms between 2018-19 and 2023-24.

I will update the House again when the CQC provides its report on part 1 of the review in June.