Patients experiencing a mental health crisis were kept in a ‘short stay area’ of an emergency department for up to three weeks, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report has revealed.
The patients were in what the CQC described as a “short stay area” of the ED at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. It is an area with no natural light, no TV or radio and only a toilet and washbasin, with a shower available on a neighbouring ward, the CQC said. The patients were reviewed daily by a mental health liaison team from another trust while they waited for a mental health bed to be found.
The CQC report said staff reported the longest stay was up to three weeks, while trust data showed the average length of stay was 52 hours.
It said the urgent and emergency services at the hospital – part of University Hospitals Sussex Foundation Trust which is rated “outstanding” overall by the regulator – “did not fully meet the needs of the local population”.
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Source: HSJ, 29 July 2022