AN NHS TRUST providing mental health services in South Gloucestershire must "continue to make improvements", inspectors have advised.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that despite "noticeable improvements", Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust "still has some way to go on its improvement journey".

Last year, in a previous inspection, the trust was told to improve its "health based places of safety" (spaces where people detained under the Mental Health Act can be managed safely while they are assessed).

Its wards for older people were also found to be below standard. 

During the latest checks, CQC found that although some progress had been made, not all of the planned improvements had been completed. 

Karen Bennett-Wilson, Head of Hospital Inspection South (Mental Health), said: “We are aware that the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has been going through a period of flux, with a fairly new senior leadership team who are working through programme of changes. 

“This has led to some noticeable improvements such as a change in the well-led rating from 'Requires improvement' to 'Good' and the warning notice previously issued in May 2016 had now been met, however, the trust still has some way to go on its improvement journey.

“There were areas we had previously visited where there was still a need for improvement, or where change has been slow to take effect.

“We heard of problems accessing beds for people requiring admission to hospital, and this put pressure on the crisis teams who had to deal with patients requiring a high level of care in the community.

“Despite these pressures, we found staff who were committed and caring while trying to meet the needs of patients in their care. 

“We will return in due course to check on their progress in implementing the changes and improving the services for their patients.”