England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals has praised Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

CQC inspected Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust between April and June this year and found it offered excellent care and treatment, particularly in its community sexual health services. As a result, the trust is rated Outstanding overall.

The trust is also rated as Outstanding for whether its services are caring and well-led. It is rated Good for being safe, effective and responsive.

When the trust was previously inspected, in 2018, it was rated Good overall.

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: 

“We were impressed by the high-quality care and treatment we found at Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust.

“A caring culture ran through the organisation. We saw warm and generous interactions between people and staff which had a positive impact on patient wellbeing. Underpinning this was a leadership team that prioritised putting people at the heart of their care by supporting frontline staff with the right strategies and polices.

“The trust’s community sexual health services treated people with dignity and respect, working particular successfully to support vulnerable people. This service made itself accessible by enabling people to take sexual health checks and obtain results without attending a clinic. Staff worked collaboratively, and leaders made good use of information about the service’s performance to drive continual improvement. All this led to an excellent standard of care.

“In community end of life care, staff in Luton had developed systems to work effectively with other healthcare professionals, including the local hospital and hospice. Staff supported people to access emotional support and counselling when this was needed, and feedback from patients was overwhelmingly positive. In community health services for children and young people, we found compassionate staff who empowered patients to be as independent as possible.

“However, there were some issues for the trust to address. There were not always enough nurses and health visitors in community services for children and young people. We also found gaps in staff training, notably regarding sepsis, although the trust had begun addressing this.

“An Outstanding rating is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and commitment; I congratulate everyone involved. We continue to monitor the trust and we will return to carry out further inspections to check on progress with improvements.”

Inspectors witnessed areas of outstanding practice across the trust, including:

  • Innovative use of technology to enhance care for young people, including a text-based service to contact school nursing services and a digital platform offering information about health and healthy lifestyles
  • Successful working with health and social care partners to deliver effective palliative care
  • The employment of a specialist HIV pharmacist in community sexual health services, and effective engagement with patients and external healthcare professionals to improve understanding of sexual health.

The trust has been told it must make one improvement:

  • Services for children and young people must have an adequate number of nurses with the right mix of skills.

Reports for the trust are published on CQC’s website: www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RYV

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust provides a range of specialist community-based services in the East of England – specifically in Cambridgeshire, Luton, South Bedfordshire, Peterborough, Suffolk and Norfolk. It employs over 2,000 people in medical, dental, nursing, support and allied healthcare roles.