Leicestershire mental health services ‘need further improvement’ – BBC News

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Screenshot, The trust was inspected by the CQC in January

  • Author, Sonia Kataria
  • Role, BBC News, Leicester
  • May 30, 2024

An NHS trust has been told its adult mental health services require further improvement.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected services run by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust in January over concerns about the safety and quality of services provided.

Inspectors found that ward environments were “not always safe, clean, well maintained and fit for purpose”.

The trust said “immediate action” was taken in response to concerns raised and a “robust plan to monitor” improvements had been put in place.

Inspectors visited the intensive care wards at Heather, Thornton and Watermead, and the Belvoir psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the Bradgate Unit in January.

All units serve working-age adults with mental illnesses.

The report was published on Thursday at the same time as a second which rated the trust’s community health services as good.

In the report, the watchdog says mental health services “do not always provide safe care”.

Several ligation hazards, such as a string of Christmas lights and cables for a game console, have not been identified, according to the report.

There were also high vacancy rates for registered nurses and “staff did not always receive the mandatory training needed to keep people safe.”

Inspectors also said: “Although the trust took action in response to our concerns, staff had failed to recognize where patients’ privacy and dignity had not been respected while they were in seclusion, prior to our inspection.

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“Care plans were not always individual to the patient’s needs and contingency plans were not documented for a patient approaching the end of life.”

‘More to do’

The rating in both the effectiveness and attention categories went from “requires improvement” to good.

The CQC highlighted that staff “treated people with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity and understood people’s individual needs”.

Anne Scott, head nurse at the trust, said they had carried out a “major recruitment drive” since the inspection with 37 new nurses recruited.

He added that the trust had brought about “a significant improvement in our culture and leadership, which we will continue to build on.”

Chief executive Angela Hillery said: “Quality and safety remain our number one priority and we realize we still have more to do.

“I am encouraged that our continued improvements have been recognized. These are significant achievements.

“Compulsory training rates have also improved significantly since the inspection and are now above 85% in almost all areas.”

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