East London NHS Trust rates 'outstanding' for third time running

Staff at the East London Foundation Trust - which has been rated 'outstanding' for the third time running

Staff at the East London Foundation Trust - which has been rated 'outstanding' for the third time running - Credit: East London Foundation Trust

East London NHS Foundation Trust has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for an unprecedented third time.

Inspectors singled out the Hackney-based John Howard Centre for praise in the report released this week. 

The trust was rated ‘good’ for being ‘safe’, ‘effective’, ‘responsive’ and ‘outstanding’ for being ‘caring’ and ‘well led’. In maintaining its overall rating of ‘outstanding’ it becomes the first trust in England to have hit the top mark three times in a row. 

Chief Nurse Lorraine Sunduza said: “I would like to thank every colleague and service user involved in helping continue to develop a culture of quality that is embedded in our work every day.

“An overall rating of ‘outstanding’ is something colleagues should rightly take pride in, particularly after the unprecedented challenges we have faced over the last few years.

“However, this is not about standing still. There will always be areas we need to focus on to improve service users and carers experience of our services.”

The East London Foundation Trust manages The Greenhouse Surgery for Homeless People, child and young people service CAMHS, older adults mental health and dementia services, inpatient and community mental health services and mental health crisis telephone lines & urgent care. 

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It employs around 5,000 staff. 

After their visit in October, inspectors reported an “overwhelmingly positive” culture across the trust. The CQC said they were impressed with diversity efforts on the back of the rise of Black Lives Matter. 

The report added: “There had been significant changes in the leadership team and non-executive directors… These had gone well and provided an opportunity to improve the diversity of the board and introduce people with the breadth of experience needed.”

As for possible improvements, the CQC found “recurring themes linked to serious incidents” and acknowledged a deep dive was underway to rectify issues. 

The report added staff had complained of “frustrating” IT issues. However, the CQC saw this was also something the trust was investigating. 

Trust chief executive Paul Calaminus said: “This recognition for the CQC is a tribute to the work of all those within the Trust, despite the extraordinary challenges of recent times.”