Mental health services ‘need further improvement’

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

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

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

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

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

All the units serve adults of working age with mental illness.

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

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

A number of ligature risks, such as a string of Christmas lights and cables for a games console had not been identified, the report said.

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

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

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

‘More to do’

Despite the overall rating of “requires improvement’ remaining the same, the service did note postive changes since its previous inspection in February 2022.

The rating in both the effective and caring categories moved from “requires improvement” to good.

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

Anne Scott, chief nurse at the trust, said they had carried out a “significant recruitment campaign” since the inspection with 37 new nurses taken on.

She added the trust had made “significant improvement in our culture and leadership, which we will continue to build upon”.

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

“I am encouraged that our ongoing improvements have been recognised. These are significant achievements.

“Mandatory training rates have also improved significantly since the inspection and are now at over 85% across nearly all areas.”

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Related internet links

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Care Quality Commission

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