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 ‘outstanding’ 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 April and June to check the quality of four mental health and two 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 ‘outstanding’ for being caring and well led, and is rated ‘good’ for safe, effective and responsive.

Overall this moves the Trust up from its previous rating of ‘good’.

CQC rated the trust outstanding overall for the key question is the trust well-led due to the inspirational leadership provided by the senior team. They were impressed with the trust attitude towards and application of innovation and service improvement.

Excellent governance arrangements were in place in relation to Mental Health Act (MHA) administration and compliance.

We are rated outstanding overall because over the past four inspections we have demonstrated a consistent pattern of progressive improvement in the quality of core services that is reflected in the ratings of these services.

Staff, patients and carers were actively involved in the development of the services, and CQC found that the trust were creative in engaging all the relevant people.

Staff at all levels worked well with each other and external organisations to provide care and treatment to patients based on national guidance. The physical healthcare needs of patients within mental health services were excellent. Patients in community health services benefitted from outstanding care and support from staff.

Areas which still needed improvements included:

  • Recruitment in some areas (e.g. community CAMHS) remained a struggle.
  • A bed was not always available when needed on return to the acute mental health wards.
  • There remained shared accommodation on one acute mental health ward and some of the older people’s mental health inpatient wards.
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