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Safety at Lincolnshire mental health trust questioned

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The Care Quality Commission has rated the services provided by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust as “inadequate” for being safe, following an inspection at the end of last year.

The CQC inspected the core services provided by the trust, which provides mental health services across Lincolnshire, between 30 November and 4 December 2015.

“In particular, we were concerned about the safety of some of the services”

Paul Lelliott

The CQC rated the trust as “requires improvement” overall and also for being effective and well led. But it was rated “inadequate” for being safe, though “good” for being caring and responsive.

Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said the regulator was particularly “concerned about the safety of some of the services”.

“The trust had not done all it could to assess risks to patients or to minimise the risks on some wards to patients who might be at risk of suicide,” he said.

In particular, the CQC report said the regulator had told the trust to ensure all ligature risks were identified and that it did all that was “reasonably practicable to mitigate these risks”.

“Additionally, we found that seclusion facilities at the trust needed to be managed within the safeguards of the Mental Health Act Code of Practice,” he said.

Dr Lelliott also said the trust needed to make sure “sufficient numbers of appropriately qualified staff were available at all times to make sure the care provided met people’s needs”.

Care Quality Commission

Dr Paul Lelliott

Paul Lelliott

Meanwhile, the trust needed to make sure systems to monitor quality and performance were in place and that there was learning to ensure the future safety of patients and staff after incidents.

Dr Lelliott highlighted that the inspectors also found a number of areas of good practice, including its commitment to dementia research, its inclusion of former service users in its work and the progression of its child and adolescent mental health services.

The CQC noted that the CAMHS community service was actively involved in developing best practice, a research assistant had been employed in the north east of the county to help evaluate service response to young people in crisis, and the CAMH inpatient service had employed a therapy dog.

Other areas of good practice included using street triage to improve access to assessments for people who came to the attention of the police and an ex-patient volunteer was working on one ward, who had taken part in recruitment panels for employing nursing assistants and nurses.

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • The problem here is the CQC are not identifying what is it that has occurred leading to be unsafe. Also staff have a right to be safe an issue I suspect the CQC do not willingly mention. MH trusts fail on this for a number of reasons but some are protection of branding and methods that simply only recognise one stakeholder as the patient and therapeutic engagement without the understanding to interpretation of safe environment and engagement with backdrop of environment. Health and safety has I suspect largely been ignored in such instances but also Quality Improvment based on processes has been given primary purpose rather than the equal if not more importance of health and safety including reps and officers. The answer is I suspect the unwillingness to detect problems that might cost money. MH institutions need to be measured to how they treat and regard Health and safety officers and representatives to a measure how they regard Health and safety. We are also in a government backdrop of weakened HSE who seem to have little to say on the matter or in some respects trust may have been engaging the HSE to offshoot Amy needed action. In the meantime both staff and patients are getting hurt and staff potentially blamed for getting hurt due to corrupt management. Yes I'm and some others are sending a message to MH trusts, in the right moral vein YOU ARE BEING WATCHED. Where staffing levels are also threatened by shortsighted lean approaches and Carter under NHS Improvement there has to be those of us that recognise their threat to safe places of care. Good day to you.

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