CQC publishes new reports on mental health inpatient facilities

Following a full inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June last year, where Pennine Care was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating overall, the CQC has now undertaken a further review of mental health inpatient areas across the Trust.

Inspectors returned to check on the progress of improvements Pennine Care was required to make, with a particular focus on the ‘safe’ domain. The CQC found that improvements have been made but there was still further work to be done. There were no rating changes as a result of this inspection.

Following the focused inspections, the CQC has today, 30 August 2017, published two reports to outline their findings, which can be viewed on the CQC website - click here

A summary of the findings is as follows:

  • The Trust still needs to fully implement changes to address mixed sex accommodation issues and reduce associated risks.
  • Incident investigations were found to be of variable quality and learning was not always shared effectively.
  • A review of policies and procedures related to seclusion is required.
  • Improvements have been made in storing medicines safely.
  • Mandatory training compliance has improved.
  • Patients were mostly positive about staff, the care they received and said they felt safe.
  • Risk assessments were carried out and whilst some variances were found between wards, overall standards have improved.
  • Appropriate staffing levels on mental health wards have been raised as a concern.
  • More physical health checks need to be carried out when patients are taking strong medication for their mental health. 
  • Some environmental issues were identified such as room temperature and access to hand washing facilities but it was acknowledged that improvements have also been made.
  • Staff conducted appropriate checks to ensure the ward environments are safe.

Dr Henry Ticehurst, Medical Director and Acting Deputy Chief Executive, said: "Since the full inspection last year, the Trust has been working with staff, commissioners and partners to implement the recommendations. We have made progress where possible, implementing many of the short to medium term improvements.

"However, a number of the recommendations will require additional funding or service redesign, which forms part of our longer term quality improvement plan.

"The CQC has acknowledged where improvements have been made since the last inspection, as well as raising where things have not yet changed. One of the most significant recommendations is the need to improved mixed sex accommodation standards on our wards and we are undertaking urgent work to rectify where these standards fall short.

"From the reports it is clear that the majority of patients are satisfied with the care provided to them, which is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff."

The Trust now has a monthly Quality Improvement Group, chaired independently by NHS Improvement, to bring together Pennine Care representatives and colleagues from Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and local authorities to jointly deliver improvement plans.