A WIRRAL NHS trust “requires improvement” after inspectors found communication problems and times when senior managers “did not always have full oversight” of crucial issues and risks.

The report by the Care Quality Commission was into the Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust, and found the body controlling services including walk-in centres, community nursing and out of hours GPs needed to improve.

The report, carried out during an unannounced inspection in March, checked the quality of six core services: urgent care, community health for adults, community health for children and young people, GP out of hours and sexual health.

The Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “We found that the communications between management groups was not always effective and inspectors saw examples where senior managers did not always have full oversight of key issues and risks. Some staff told us that this was affecting the day to day care delivery and management.

“We have made it clear to the trust where it must take action to improve. Since the inspection the trust has been responding to these safety concerns and making changes to lessen the risks. We will continue to monitor those services and we will return in the near future to check progress.”

He said the report raised a number of positives, including that the trust “provides services that are effective, responsive and caring”, but added: “It is disappointing to note that the trust’s overall rating has gone down to Requires Improvement.”

According to the report by the healthcare watchdog, the recent inspection found the trust had maintained its rating of “good” for being effective, caring and responsive, but “requires improvement” for being and safe and well-led.

Overall, six out of eight services run by the trust were rated “good”, with two “requiring improvement”.

It follows 2014’s inspection, which found the overall rating for the service employing more than 1,500 people to be “good”.

Karen Howell, chief executive of the trust, said the new overall “requires improvement” rating was “disappointing”, but said the report reflected the position at the end of March, with most of those issues having “now been addressed”.

The rest of the issues have “action plans in place”, she said.

Ms Howell explained: “Our Children and Young People’s Division was particularly highlighted for outstanding practice in relation to the dietetics team and our children’s weight reduction service, the FIT club. The trust’s GP out of hours service, community end of life care and community dental services were also rated good.

“Patients are at the heart of everything we do and we are proud that the kindness, respect and compassion of our teams were recognised by inspectors.

“The inspection team also found that staff took account of patients’ individual needs and involved them in decision making about their care.

“Patients told inspectors staff were friendly and approachable. This supports our ‘Friends and Family’ test results, which for the last eight consecutive months have shown that 97% or more of our patients would recommend the Trust as place to receive treatment or care.”

Another inspection will be carried out within the next 12 months.

It follows last month, when “significant doubt” was cast over the future of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which is responsible for Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospitals.

It was revealed that trust required a £25m loan to maintain its current payment performance, but had not yet received “formal notification” how the money would be raised.