‘Tale of two cities’ as mental health report laid bare

The Becklin Centre in Leeds.
The Becklin Centre in Leeds.
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Mental health chiefs have branded a watchdog’s report a “tale of two cities”, after it stated an NHS trust in Leeds and York requires improvement.

The comments came as health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released its inspection report of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT), which largely praised the delivery of mental health services in Leeds and criticised “historically underfunded” work in York.

Leeds facilities including the Becklin Centre, with its crisis assessment service and street triage pilot, rehabilitation wards and Linden House, with its training link with Leeds bereavement forum, were praised.

In York a major source of concern was the Bootham Park Hospital, which was deemed “not fit for purpose”, while some wards in the city did not meet national guidance regarding same sex accommodation.

Chris Butler, chief executive of LYPFT, highlighted the fact that staff working across the trust were described as “caring” by inspectors but recognised that work was still to be done.

He said: “We realise this report tells a tale of two cities. Services in Leeds have mostly been rated as good whilst there are a number of concerns raised about services in York.”

The trust provides mental health services for more than 30,000 people, covering crisis services, work with people with learning disabilities, adults, older people and children, across 77 sites in Leeds, York, Selby and North Yorkshire.

Jill Copeland, deputy chief executive of LYPFT, added: “In Leeds we have got investment with which we’re able to work with really forward thinking commissioners. There is a lot of good in there and they’re almost good across the board.”

Nevertheless problems highlighted by the CQC including issues with its complaints procedure, risk assessments and making sure staff are up to date with assessments of patients needed work regionally.

Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, explained that inspectors saw “a great deal of variation” in the safety and quality of care provided by the trust.

He added: “The trust has told us they have listened to our inspectors’ findings and have begun to take action where it is required.”