MENTAL health services for children in Worcestershire have been rated outstanding for the first time, but adult services fell below par.

The Care Quality Commission inspected a range of services provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, in September and October last year.

A recently report published shows the trust has maintained an overall good rating, with inspectors finding services overall to be safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

For the first time, children's mental health services - including help for those with learning disabilities, a children’s eating disorder team and a youth offending team - have been rated outstanding.

The CQC report states: "Staff were highly motivated to develop and adapt treatments that met patients individual needs.

"Staff had excellent knowledge of their patients, which meant they understood their individual need.

"Young people and parents were extremely complimentary about their care package and the staff who provided it, and believed they received an excellent service.”

Dr John Devapriam, medical director at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “We are thrilled that our mental health services for children and young people have been rated Outstanding by the CQC.

"Staff within the service worked incredibly hard over recent years to transform the care and support we offer and it is fantastic that this hard work has been recognised.

"But even more importantly this is a reflection of our commitment to ensuring children, young people and their families who are experiencing mental health problems have access to outstanding services right here in Worcestershire and we will be unrelenting in our drive to continue meeting this commitment for every child and young person who needs us.”

The trust’s community dental team has also been rated outstanding in the caring category, with inspectors commenting that “patient feedback was overwhelmingly positive about the service."

The report goes on to say: "Patients told us that staff were professional, caring, very friendly and kind. Patients also commented that staff were particularly good at treating children and nervous patients."

For adult mental health, the CQC gave services the lowest possible rating - inadequate, after concerns were raised about staff shortages and patient wait times.

The report also highlights a "culture of bullying and harassment" reported by staff in the south Community Assessment and Recovery Service (CARS).

Matthew Hall, chief operating officer at the trust, said: “At the root of our problems with the South CARS team was a prolonged period of high staff vacancies and significant recruitment challenges and we accept that progress to address these staffing shortages has not been as quick or as effective as it should have been.

"We also recognise the strain this has put on the team and the impact this has had.

"We have now renewed our recruitment efforts, re-deployed existing staff from other areas and have worked with members of the team on ways to improve their wellbeing at work.

"By the end of January, we will have sufficient capacity across the team in order to meet the current workload and we will continue to improve the working environment for staff.”