MENTAL health services in Gloucestershire have been praised following an inspection by the health and social care regulator, despite requiring improvement in safety.

England’s chief inspector of hospitals has rated 2gether NHS Foundation Trust as ‘Good’ following its first comprehensive inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The trust, which provides a range of mental health, learning disability and substance misuse services to people across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, was inspected in October.

A team of inspectors reviewed 10 core service areas against five key questions relating to whether services were safe, caring, effective, responsive and well led.

Inspectors found that overall the trust’s services were ‘Good’ for being caring, effective, responsive, and well led, and as ‘Requires Improvement’ for being safe.

Individual service inspections found that acute wards for adults of working age and mental health crisis services were both rated ‘Outstanding’ overall.

The inspectors visited hospital wards and community based mental health services over a period of five days during October. In addition, they made unannounced visits as part of the inspection.

Inspectors found that care and treatment was effective with people using the services at the centre of everything the trust did.

Staff fully supported patients with wider needs including physical health, emotional wellbeing and social needs, treating them with kindness and respect while involving them in their care and treatment.

Inspectors found that there were some aspects of care and treatment in some services that needed improvements to be made to ensure patients were kept safe.

Dr Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals and CQC’s lead for mental health, said: “2gether NHS Foundation Trust has much to be proud of.

“The trust has a committed senior leadership team, and there are many skilled and enthusiastic staff throughout the organisation working hard to manage day to day care, while always trying to improve services to meet the needs of their patients.

“We found the crisis and health-based place of safety service and acute inpatient services for adults were outstanding. Both of these services were able to demonstrate excellent practice and innovation which went above the standards which are expected.

“We did find some pockets of poor practice but the trust took immediate action to address some issues and have told us they have taken on board the findings of our inspection. We are confident that the trust will work to deliver those improvements on behalf of all of their patients.”

Trust chief executive Shaun Clee said: “The Care Quality Commission has provided us with a fresh perspective on our services, and we welcome publication of this report.

“We are pleased to note the many examples of good practice and comments on the quality of care we are providing. We are able to deliver this level of service due to our talented, skilled, committed and caring staff as well as the collaboration and support of our commissioners and partners.

“We have learnt a lot through the inspection process and have either already put in place or are in the process of putting in place the improvements the inspectors have recommended.”

The full report is available at: