26 June 2018

The Trust is delighted to today confirm it has retained its ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).


Chief Executive Dr Navina Evans has welcomed the news as part of the Trust’s ongoing work to build a culture of continuous improvement.


The rating has been confirmed after CQC inspectors visited the Trust in March and April 2018.


They assessed the quality of three core mental health services:


  • Community mental health services for people with learning disabilities or autism
  • Wards for people with learning disabilities or autism
  • Forensic inpatient/secure wards


Inspectors also looked specifically at management and leadership to answer the key question: Is the trust well led?


The Trust’s overall rating remains Outstanding. The CQC has also rated the trust as Outstanding for being caring, responsive to people’s needs and well-led and as Good for being safe and effective.


Lorraine Sunduza, Interim Chief Nurse, said:

“I would really like to thank the staff and service users who helped us to prepare for the inspection.


“There was genuine commitment to continuously improving the quality of care we deliver.  We however know that there are some areas that we need to focus on to improve staff, service users and carers experience of our services.”



Dr Navina Evans, Chief Executive of ELFT, said:
“Together we are striving to build a culture of continuous improvement with ELFT. Recognition from the CQC is pleasing for us all but remains part of that improvement process and not an end.


“The challenge for every member of staff within the Trust, myself included, is to continue to strive to provide the best care we can day in and day out.


“An outstanding rating shows the hard work already taking place and that has to continue. We don’t always get things right and should always ask ourselves ‘what can we do better?’



Marie Gabriel CBE, Chair of ELFT, said:

“ELFT continues to make progress in how its healthcare services are shaped and delivered.


“This is positive news and we will continue to focus on how to further improve through our strongest tools – our dedicated staff, People Participation and Quality Improvement (QI).


Key inspection points:


  • The CQC found a Trust board that was dynamic, visionary and confident in performing its role and committed to ensuring that patients received the best care possible by fostering an open, no blame culture with a willingness to address any concerns raised and learn when things went wrong


  • The involvement of patients and carers remained central to the work of the Trust. Patients were supported to express their wishes and to be active participants in meetings where their care was discussed


  • The CQC also recognised the Trust commitment to learning, innovation and continuous improvement. In 2017 there were 179 active projects across the Trust that had led to many improvements in the care for patients and the running of the organisation. They noted the projects continued to offer opportunities for teams to innovate and encourage staff engagement


  • Inspectors found the Trust had addressed most of the areas where improvements were needed from the last inspection in 2016 and had made particular improvement in the forensic inpatient/secure wards core service which is now rated Outstanding


  • One example of outstanding practice in this area involved staff supporting patients to live healthier lives by supporting them to be physically active, encouraging exercise and holding discussion groups with patients about healthy dietary choices.  Patients and carers were consistently positive about the standard of care and told inspectors that staff always treated them with respect, kindness and dignity


  • The inspection team identified areas for improvement, particularly around staff training and supervision, and the Trust will be working hard to make improvements in those areas.


Full details of the CQC ratings are available online here.