A NHS Foundation Trust which provides services in Dudley has been told it 'requires improvement' by the Care Quality Commission.

The Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was previously rated as 'good', but received a rating of 'requires improvement' following a Care Quality Commission inspection in July and August 2018.

The Trust was told it 'requires improvement' for being safe and effective but was rated as 'good' for being caring, responsive and well-led.

The Trust provides mental health services to around one million people across the Black Country, and specifically specialist health learning disability services and community healthcare services for children, young people and families in Dudley.

Inspectors rated the Trust for its speciality community mental health services for children and young people; community mental health services for people with learning disabilities or autism; wards for people with a learning disability or autism; mental health crisis services and health-based places of safety; acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units and wards for older people with mental health problems.

The Trust has only recently appointed interim executives and a trust chair, after a final decision not to progress with a proposed merger with two other trusts led to its losing a substantive amount of its leadership team.

However, inspectors did find examples of 'outstanding' practice in the specialist community mental health service for children and young people.

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector and lead for mental health said: “Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation NHS Trust must act to make the improvements that we have identified to the care it provides to people.

“The trust board’s ability to focus on day to day running of the services has been hampered because of uncertainty created by a proposed merger with other NHS trusts.

"We concluded that this had adversely affected the quality of some of the trust’s services. During our inspection, we saw evidence that the leadership team were picking up the reins once again.

"It is vital that they follow through and we expect to see the trust perform better all-round the next time we visit the trust.”

Lesley Writtle, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “We are disappointed with this rating. However, we are pleased that the CQC rated the majority of our services as ‘good’, and that the Trust overall is well led. We remain strongly committed to acting on the CQC findings and improving our services.”