We are regularly inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to ensure that we are providing the best possible service to patients.

We have always found the inspection process to be very helpful in assisting us to provide excellent care for our patients and we are very grateful to the CQC for their work.

CQC have previously given us a Good overall rating with an “Outstanding” rating for caring. However, we have recently experienced a very large increase in demand for our services, leading to a large waiting list.  At our most recent inspection we were therefore given a “needs improvement” rating in order to improve monitoring of patients while they are on our waiting list.

We are very pleased to inform you that we have now implemented all the changes required to meet the CQC’s standards, and more. These changes include a) risk assessments for everyone on our waiting list; b) improved online booking systems for patients; c) information packages provided to all patients while they are on the waiting list; and d) a renewed recruitment campaign to ensure that we have enough doctors to meet the demand for our services.

The report also highlighted some areas of “outstanding practice”:

“The chief technology officer (CTO) and a team of multidisciplinary colleagues were developing a significant, transformational digital programme of work to improve patient care and provider capacity. Work included proof-of-concept testing for clinical artificial intelligence systems at the leading edge of international mental health care development. Technology-led improvements planned for the service took place within clear safety and data protection policies and systems.

“The provider operated nationally and recognised the regional differences in policies and standards of practice across NHS trusts and integrated care systems. Staff worked opportunistically and shared good practice with colleagues across organisations. This contributed to an overarching care culture that promoted innovation, idea-sharing, and learning from the good practices of others. Such work led to new developments in shared care pathways, which significantly improved patient outcomes.”

The way that inspections are organised means that our overall rating will remain as “needs improvement” until our next inspection, despite having made the changes recommended by the CQC. But we can reassure you that we are confident that our service is safe and offers high quality care.

We will continue to monitor our waiting list to ensure that we provide the best possible service to people who are waiting to see us, as well as continuing the highest standards of care for those who are already receiving treatment with us.

Dr Andy Montgomery, MbBChir, PhD, MRCP, MRCPsych

GMC 3616932