AN INSPECTION report for a mental health trust in Ealing has found it faces real challenges in helping vulnerable people in society but noted there were 'significant improvements'.
The Care Quality Commission carried out an investigation into West London Mental Health Trust in March this year, triggered by concerns over the way suicides were being handled.
The results, published on Wednesday, found that more work is needed in care planning, care service, staff interaction with patients and to demonstrate how lessons have been learnt.
But the regulator also reported that improvements were made in the management of medicines, availability of beds, cleanliness of wards and the investigation of serious incidents.
Colin Hough, regional director for CQC, said: "WLMH NHS Trust faces real challenges in caring for some of the most seriously unwell patients in the country which is why it's so important that its risk management processes are robust.
"We will continue to monitor the trust through our tough new registration system, which requires the NHS to meet essential standards of quality and safety.
"There is no question that the trust has made significant progress but there is more to do to improve service users' experience of care through better care planning and more meaningful interaction with staff.
"While the trust has already made changes to how lessons are shared across the trust, a sustained focus on this is very important."
The Care Quality Commission highlighted nine areas for improvement which the Trust was expected to address before the inspection.
A spokesman for WLMHT, said: "We're pleased the CQC has recognised the considerable progress we have made in meeting the recommendations of their investigation.
"They were encouraged to find we have strengthened our procedures for managing risk.
"We've implemented a new Incident Review Policy, which clear-ly outlines the reporting, classification and investigation of incidents.
"The CQC heard from our service users that standards of cleanliness on wards have improved and that we've resolved the bed pressures we faced in the past.
"In terms of our staff, we have made progress in filling vacancies by implementing a number of innovative schemes and invested significantly in mandatory training.
"We'd like to thank our staff and partners for their considerable efforts and hard work in the past 12 months, which has led to the improvements.
"We are now looking to the future, developing our forward plans, which will include addressing the outstanding issues identified by the CQC."