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CQC lifts warning notice from Humber mental health trust

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The Care Quality Commission has withdrawn a warning notice after concluding improvements had been made at Humber NHS Foundation Trust, following its latest inspection.

The CQC had previously inspected the trust’s acute mental health wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units in in April 2016.

“The trust has made a detailed and candid analysis of their current position”

Paul Lelliott

At the time, inspectors from the regulator found that significant improvements were needed and issued the trust with a warning notice.

Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief hospital inspector and mental health lead, said: “We issued Humber NHS Foundation Trust with a warning notice to ensure they addressed poor practice in respect of rapid tranquilisation, inadequate life support training for some staff and length of time that some patients were kept in seclusion.”

The latest unannounced inspection took place in December 2016 to check if the trust had made improvements on forensic inpatient/secure wards, acute wards for adults of working age, and psychiatric intensive care units.

Although further improvements were still required, the CQC said in its new report from 17 February that it had now withdrawn the warning notice.

The regulator highlighted several areas of good practice where the service had complied with several of the breaches identified in the notice.

It noted that the latest inspection had found adequate stocks of emergency medicines on all wards, all medicines and equipment were within the expiration date and fit for use, and staff knew where emergency medicines and equipment were located.

Care Quality Commission

Dr Paul Lelliott

Paul Lelliott

In addition, staff carried out physical health monitoring following the use of rapid tranquilisation in line with trust guidance.

Also, the inspectors found patients entering seclusion had individualised seclusion care records and exit plans, staff recorded the justification for the use of seclusion, and the service had decommissioned those seclusion rooms not fit for purpose.

Meanwhile, the CQC commended the trust for introducing a new policy that ensured patients’ rights were protected, which staff were aware of acted in accordance with.

However, the trust was told it must ensure that physical health monitoring was carried out in line with its policy following the use of rapid tranquilisation, and ensure that all qualified staff were up to date with immediate life support training.

In addition, the CQC said the trust must ensure clinicians carried out reviews for patients in seclusion within the timeframes specified in their policy and that seclusion ended at the earliest opportunity.

Dr Lelliott said: “During this most recent inspection, we examined how far the trust has gone to address the issues which we identified in the warning notice. We found sufficient improvement to allow us to withdraw the warning notice.

“The trust has made a detailed and candid analysis of their current position, and developed an ongoing action plan for improvement,” he said.

“Staff can have more trust they are working for an organisation which is striving to achieve the results their efforts deserve”

Michele Moran

But he added: “The trust should continue to focus on implementing their action plan and I hope to be able to report on further improvements after our next follow up inspection.”

Trust chief executive Michele Moran said she was “pleased” with the regulator’s verdict. “For the CQC to have recognised the improvements we’ve made by withdrawing all of its warning notices is good news and demonstrates staff’s hard work,” she said.

“Staff can have more trust that they are working for an organisation which is striving to achieve the results their efforts deserve,” said Ms Moran, who was appointed to the substantive role of chief executive two weeks ago after joining the trust on an interim basis in September.

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