Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. The CQC makes sure health and social care service providers – such as Dorset HealthCare – offer people safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care. The CQC carries out regular inspections and provides reports on standards of care, and progress since its previous report.

To fully understand the experience of people who use services, the CQC always asks the following five questions of every provider and service:

  • Is it safe?
  • Is it effective?
  • Is it caring?
  • Is it responsive to people’s needs?
  • Is it well-led?

The CQC awards a rating following an inspection. This is based on a combination of what the CQC finds at inspection, what people tell the CQC, and information gathered from the Trust. Ratings are then awarded on a four point scale, and a provider may be rated as 'outstanding', 'good', 'requires improvement' or 'inadequate'.

Any person (individual, partnership or organisation including NHS Trusts) who provides regulated activity in England must be registered with the CQC. Dorset HealthCare is registered with the Care Quality Commission without any restrictive conditions. You can read more about registration with the CQC on theCQC website.

Read the full report & CQC inspection ratings for Dorset HealthCare NHS Trust


CQC inspections of Dorset HealthCare

Dorset HealthCare has been rated ‘good’ by England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals after making significant improvements to the quality of services for patients.

A team of inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited in November and December to check the quality of eight mental health and three community health care services. They also looked specifically at management and leadership to assess whether the Trust is well-led.

As a result the Trust is now rated as ‘good’ for being effective, caring, responsive and well led, and remains rated as ‘requires improvement’ for being safe. Overall this moves the Trust up from its previous rating of ‘requires improvement’.

One of the big successes was a positive shift from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ for child and adolescent mental health wards, referring to the Trust’s Pebble Lodge unit in Westbourne. This is in addition to the Community Forensic Service, which was rated ‘outstanding’ during the 2015 inspection.

Inspectors found that staff had gone beyond what was required and were clearly focussed on wellbeing and recovery of young people. They were working with children and young people to create meaningful care plans and emphasising young people being part of the community.

There was also an improved rating of good for:

  • Community mental health services for adults and for older people
  • Community health services for children and young people and
  • Community health inpatient services

On wards for end of life care, inspectors identified a more open and transparent culture, with a positive impact on patient care and staff morale.

They also found that the Trust’s Board and senior leadership team had a clear vision and set of values which centred around the key principle of continuous improvement.

Areas which still needed improvements included:

  • Ligature points at some acute mental health wards and
  • Some aspects of medicines management

However inspectors found that the Trust was keen to discuss and address safety issues and encouraged continual learning.

The Trust is developing an action plan to address the issues raised in the report and will work with the CQC to monitor progress.

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