AN NHS organisation in charge of mental health care in Sussex has been rated “good” overall by the Government.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which cares for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions in the county, was given an “outstanding” rating in care by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Government report said mental health services in Sussex were safe, responsive, and well-led.

CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Paul Lelliott said: “The trust board and senior leadership team has established clear vision and values at the heart of the organisation.

“We have seen a significant improvement in the quality of care. Services are more flexible and highly personalised to meet patients’ individual needs.”

The CQC report said staff treated patients “with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and understood the individual needs of patients”.

Inspectors said: “Psychologists, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals worked jointly in all services to provide good care.

“Ward teams had effective working relationships with other teams within and external to the trust.

“Patients were truly respected and valued as individuals and were empowered as partners in their care.”

The report commended the “pimp my Zimmer” project in Mill View Hospital, Hove, when primary school students decorated patients’ walking frames.

Inspectors said Langley Green Hospital in Crawley had become the first mental health hospital in the country to receive the gold LGBT inclusion award.

However, the report mentioned the trust had recently pleaded guilty for the failure to provide safe care to a patient in HMP Lewes prison who died while in the service’s care.

Inspectors said the core mental health crisis services required improvement and some teams did not complete care plans for patients.

The report also mentioned poor conditions in the Heathfield mental health ward in Eastbourne District General Hospital.

High demand meant beds were not always available to the older patients who use the ward.

Sussex Partnership Trust chief executive Sam Allen said she was “proud” of the result but staff had “more to do”.

She said: “The fact the CQC heard from patients and families about feeling respected and valued is both heartening and testament to the commitment of our staff.

“At a time when health and care services are facing significant, sustained pressure, it is so important to recognise people for the important, valuable work they do every day.

“We know we have more to do, in partnership with others, to continue improving services for patients and families.”