Mental health services for Sheffield children require improvement

Sheffield Children's Hospital
Sheffield Children's Hospital

NHS mental health services for children in Sheffield require improvement - but ‘good progress’ is being made in other areas, a new report has found.

The Care Quality Commission has told Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust that it must improve child and adolescent mental health services - with concerns raised about staffing levels and waiting times for treatment in community services.

But the CQC also noted the trust has made improvements asked of it in areas such as emergency and urgent services, neonatal services, surgical services, medicine and critical care at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Children’s community health services have been rated as ‘Good’.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the chief inspector of hospitals, said: “In the past we have found the services provided by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust to be Good.

"I am pleased to report that since our last inspection two years ago, we have found further improvement.

“For example, we had asked the trust to ensure that there were always enough staff on duty in the emergency department out of hours, with enough senior doctors in critical care and in general paediatrics.

"I am satisfied that the trust has addressed these issues – although there is some work still required in developing transition services.

“On this inspection we have found areas for improvement on the child and adolescent mental health wards, where greater care must be taken to manage behaviour properly or to protect them from abuse.

"On the whole we found health services provided in the community to be Good.

“Following this inspection we have set out our findings including those areas for improvement – and I expect the trust to address these requirements as a priority.

"We will continue to monitor the trust and we will return in due course to check on progress.”

Sally Shearer, Director of Nursing and Quality at Sheffield Children’s, said: “We welcome the positive comments in the report and the recognition of the caring services we provide.

“We agree there are areas where we can improve and we are putting plans in place to make sure we continue to make our services as good for patients and their families as possible.”