Jeremy Hunt praises underfire mental health services

Jagtar Singh, Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust chairman, Jeremy Hunt MP, and Simon Gilby trust chief executive. (Submitted photo)

THE organisation that provides mental health services in Warwickshire has earned praise from Jeremy Hunt, the government’s Health and Social Care Secretary, just three months after the care watchdog rated it as requiring improvement.

Mr Hunt spoke highly of the initiatives being put in place by the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust to improve patient safety and improve access to early help for mental health problems.

He visited the trust’s Caludon Centre in Coventry on Thursday when staff also go to ask Mr Hunt questions, which he answered candidly and openly, acknowledging the challenges the NHS faces.

“Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust is blazing a trail across the NHS to reduce this by finding innovative ways to target the most at risk groups and working with other agencies locally,” he said.

““Every suicide is a tragedy and there are still too many patients taking their own lives, and the trust’s work is a vital step towards achieving my ambition of zero suicides in inpatient mental health services.”

Jagtar Singh, chairman at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We very much appreciated the positive reflections the Secretary of State for Health made regarding the great work our staff are doing.

“We were particularly encouraged by his emphasis on prevention and encouraging people to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.”

Simon Gilby, trust chief executive, added: “We were very pleased to welcome Mr Hunt and for the opportunity to engage in dialogue with him about our shared ambition to provide safe and high quality services to all the people of Coventry and Warwickshire.”

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) published an inspection report from the trust in November, in which it was rated as requiring improvement in four of the five areas scrutinised.

Among the sites inspected was St Michael’s Hospital in Warwick.