Dorset HealthCare the first “outstanding” trust of its kind in the South

31st July 2019

“Dedicated, compassionate and caring” staff have helped turn Dorset HealthCare into one of the top NHS trusts in the country.

Following a recent inspection of its services, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has upgraded the trust’s rating from “Good” to “Outstanding”.

Dorset HealthCare is the first mental health trust providing community services in the South to be given this rating – and one of only a small handful nationally.

Inspectors found that not only were a number of individual services outstanding – including, for the first time, community health services for adults – but also that the trust was, overall, outstanding for being caring and well-led.

As recently as 2014, Dorset HealthCare was in breach of its licence, and criticised for significant failings in governance and the quality of its patient care.

Chief Executive Eugine Yafele praised staff for turning things around so rapidly.

“This is a fantastic achievement, and a testament to our staff’s hard work, dedication and relentless focus on quality improvement over the past few years,” he said.

“Organisations do not provide outstanding care – people do. Therefore, this rating reflects our collective effort and determination to deliver the very best outcomes and experiences for our patients, their families and friends.

“Most importantly, this is great news for our patients and service users. It will help increase public confidence in what we do across all our services and sites.

“However, we are not complacent; nor do I believe that we are at the limits of the improvements that need to be made across our trust. We know we can always improve what we do and, ultimately, would want to see all our services rated as outstanding. That is our next challenge, and we are fully committed to meeting it.”

CQC Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (and lead for mental health) Dr Paul Lelliott said:

“In June 2015, when we first inspected Dorset Healthcare using our new approach, we rated the trust as ’Requires Improvement’. Since then, the trust has worked steadily to improve the quality of its services.

“Their determination to develop a culture of continuous improvement has significantly improved the care they provide for their patients.

“I am delighted at this achievement, which is a credit to all of the trust’s staff. Their hard work is making a real difference to the lives of people using the services.”

Inspectors also found trust board members were providing inspirational leadership. They demonstrated that they were progressive, cohesive and innovative with a clear purpose. They also showed a mature approach to challenges and to working effectively with other health and social care partners.

Trust Chair Andy Willis said:

“Our committed and compassionate staff deserve leadership across Dorset HealthCare to be the best it can possibly be. We will continue to invest in our present and future leaders so they can support our teams to deliver care which is ‘ better every day’ for the people of Dorset.

“I am incredibly proud of the compassion and care our staff deliver on a daily basis, and this new rating is the recognition our teams truly deserve.”

The full report will be available shortly at

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