Staffordshire and Shropshire mental health services downgraded to inadequate by Care Quality Commission

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have been issued a warning notice following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (“CQC”). Concerns had been raised surrounding the safety of mental health patients further to a number of incidents across the various Trust locations.

The CQC visited the Trust in November 2022 following several serious incidents. Sadly, in recent months three patients had taken their own lives during a period of leave. There had also been a number of fires at one of their units in Shrewsbury which had led to concerns being raised by the Police and local Fire and Rescue Service.

As the result of the CQC inspection of the acute wards for working age adults and psychiatric intensive care units at the Trust, the mental health services provision across Staffordshire and Shropshire has had their overall rating for such services downgraded from “good” to “inadequate”.Inspectors reviewed records, observed staff caring for patients and also spoke with a number of patients. The inspectors were concerned that a number of staff shortages were impacting upon the quality of care. It was also found that patients were also at risk of self-harm as risk assessments were not being effectively completed.

The warning notice handed out by the CQC requires the Trust to make improvements as a matter of urgency thus improving patient care and treatment. Improvements required include:-

  • Ensure ligature risk assessments identify all areas of potential risk and detail actions to reduce the harm from those risks.
  • Ensure environmental assessments demonstrate suitable and sufficient first safety assessment at The Redwoods Centre.
  • Review mixed sex accommodation arrangements within the acute mental health wards for working age adults with a view to reducing sexual safety incidents that occurred.
  • Ensure staff within the acute mental health wards … always assess patient’s mental state at the point of taking leave a record these discussions and decisions in patients’ clinical records.
  • Ensure safeguarding children and young people training complies with national guidance.

The Chief Executive of the Trust, Neil Carr, advised that there had been “significant” change since the inspection and an improvement plan was being produced. It remains to be seen as to whether the changes satisfy the CQC and whether the provision improves.

Karen Reynolds, Partner within the Clinical Negligence team, has reflected upon the recent inspection by the CQC: “Patients engage with mental health services when they are struggling and are at their most vulnerable. Ensuring their needs are being met and they are kept safe is imperative. It is hoped that the Trust make the improvements required by the CQC as a matter of some urgency to prevent any further harm to patients”.

If you have had a poor experience or been affected by sub-standard care at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust or elsewhere, you are welcome to contact our team to discuss how we can help and support you:

  • Karen Reynolds | Partner (Derby/Stoke on Trent/Birmingham/Manchester/Liverpool): 0345 272 5677 or by email to
  • Siobhan Genever | Director: 0345 030 5774 or 07971 586185 or by email to
  • Demi Shephard | Trainee Solicitor: 0345 128 7996 or by email at
  • Ibrahim Mahmood | Legal Assistant: 0345 126 4359 or by email to

For further information please get in touch with our Clinical Negligence Team.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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