BRADFORD District Care NHS Foundation Trust's board has said it was shocked to have been downgraded as "requiring improvement" in its latest CQC inspection.

The healthcare watchdog had scrutinised nine complete core services in the Trust's mental health, community health and specialist learning disability provision.

Speaking at a meeting of Bradford Council's health and social care overview and scrutiny committee tonight, Dr Andy McElligott, medical director of the Trust, along with director of operations Debra Gilderdale, said a 51 point plan had been put into place immediately after its rating sank from "good" following inspections in October and November last year.

Inspectors had rated its caring and responsive services as “good”, but deemed safety, effectiveness and being well led as “requires improvement”.

The report said inspectors found there had been a deterioration in the quality of patient care on their return to Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and a number of improvements were needed.

The senior leadership team did not have effective oversight of staff training or staff supervision and the trust had not ensured checks for all staff had been carried out through the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Services were not consistently managing risks, risk assessments were not always completed or reviewed and sickness, vacancy and turnover rates were high. Meanwhile, safeguarding concerns were not consistently recognised or reported to external agencies and staff had a mixed understanding of the Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act.

However, inspectors noted staff were kind, compassionate, respectful and supportive to patients, and improvements were seen in community services, with. community end of life care being rated as Outstanding.

"It did come as a shock and I apologise on behalf of the Trust for any areas where we have failed," said Dr McElligott at tonight's meeting.

"There is no blame on staff or management in this. The board takes full responsibility.

"It was a distressing outcome; a massive disappointment."

He said a number of issues had not been brought to light and if they had been, then something would have been done."

An example was gaps in staff training and the fact bank or agency staff could not access patient records or log-ins without the help of regular staff.

"It was something we were not aware of and has been dealt with now. All of them can get on (to the system) now."

Kate Gorse-Brightmore, inspection manager with the CQC, said where even a small element in practices had been found lacking, it immediately meant a breach in regulations and had to be rated as requiring improvement, even if other areas were good.

The meeting was told several changes had been made to meet the recommendations and the remainder would be in place within six months.

The committee asked for an updated report to be brought back to committee in six months.