PATIENTS have made glowing comments about Taunton’s mental health wards and staff who care for them, in a Care Quality Commission report.

The CQC – the quality regulator for the NHS - gave Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust an excellent report in all areas it investigated during an unannounced inspection of Holford, Rydon and Pyrland wards, on Cheddon Road.

The facilities were judged on how well patients were respected and involved in their care, patient care and welfare, the suitability and safety of the wards and how easy it was for patients to complain if appropriate.

Patients told inspectors they were happy with the care and treatment they received, they were involved in decisions about their care and able to make decisions about activities.

Inspectors heard how Holford and Rydon patients were involved in the design of the wards and had influenced the changes which ensured the building met the needs of patients using the service.

The CQC report said: “All wards were pleasantly decorated and furnished. Furnishings took account of the needs and risks of the patients who used the ward.”

The commission noted that patients and visitors were complimentary about the staff, who are “excellent” and “seem to really care and are good at what they do”.

Patients and visitors told inspectors they would be comfortable about raising any concerns with staff.

The CQC found that patients were treated as a whole person where meeting physical health needs was as important as addressing mental health and wellbeing.

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Edward Colgan said: “This is an excellent result for our patients and a tribute to our staff.

“We care for patients with a range of mental health needs, and those being treated as inpatients are often at a very stressful time of their life.

“Even so, patients on these Taunton wards are reporting a positive patient experience, which is testament to the excellent care, high quality services and safe surroundings our staff provide.

“It’s a tribute to staff that they’re providing such a supportive and caring environment which is so vital when a patient is suffering acute illness and trying to return to good mental health.”