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Found 21 results
  1. News Article
    The care model run by independent sector mental health and learning disability hospitals is ‘inherently risky’, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) chief inspector has warned. Speaking at the NHS Providers conference, Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals for the Care Quality Commission, unveiled the regulator’s plans to change how it inspects health and care services. When asked by HSJ how its new “streamlined” approach would be applied to inpatient units run by the independent sector for people with mental health and learning disability, Professor Baker said: ”One of the things we’ve been doing during the pandemic, and will continue in our transitional approach, is target risk. And one of the risks we have been targeting is exactly this, patients with learning disability and/or autism in some of these small units that have got closed cultures." “I think we do recognise that model of care is an inherently risky model of care and so we have been inspecting many of those under this risk driven model and taking action against many of them. But there is ongoing concern about that model of care and in a few weeks’ time we will be publishing a report on our assessment of that model of care and the importance of it being changed for the benefit of the people being looked after. The model of care needs to be improved but we need to make sure we are tackling the risk.” The chief’s comments come ahead of the regulator’s state of care report, which is due to be published next week. In its report published last year the CQC highlighted a concern regarding the quality and safety of independent learning disability and autism units. In particular it warned these were at a higher risk of developing closed cultures. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 7 October 2020)
  2. News Article
    The mother of a former patient at a north Wales mental health unit has said she "couldn't let" her daughter "go back there" as new details about people being "neglected" there have emerged. ITV News has seen a leaked copy of the Robin Holden report from 2014. It was commissioned by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board after staff on the Hergest mental health unit, which is situated within Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, blew the whistle over management and patient safety concerns. It reveals details never before made public, about how staff struggled to care for patients. The document, which the health board has fought for six years to keep out of public view, gives an account of the death of a patient while no doctor was available because of rota gaps, another of a patient who tried to take their own life, again when no doctor was available, and inadequate staffing affecting patient care. Read full story Source: ITN News, 31 August 2020
  3. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) staged an unannounced inspection after two deaths at a mental health unit which it had condemned as “not fit for purpose.” Two earlier CQC inspections – in 2017 and 2018 – had also been prompted by deaths on the same unit. The CQC visited the Abraham Cowley Unit, which is at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey and run by Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust, on 26 June. Two inpatients died in April and May on an inpatient ward for working age men. The deaths both involved “ligature harm” and have led to the trust reviewing its ligature minimisation strategy, according to board papers. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 8 July 2020
  4. News Article
    Inspectors have placed a women’s mental health service into special measures after patients were said to have been subjected to “inappropriate” and “derogatory” treatment by staff. St Andrew’s Healthcare, which runs the women’s inpatient facility in Northampton, has received a series of damning reports among its services over the past two years. The inspectors noted during visits between February and March that staff reportedly used language to describe patients on a medium secure ward such as “self-harmers”, “attention seeking”, and “kicking off”. Patients said staff used “inappropriate restraint techniques that caused pain” with reports they “bent the patient’s wrist and arm behind their back.” They also said staff spoke to them in a “derogatory manner, for example telling them to sort themselves out when engaging in self harm behaviour.” Inspectors rated the service “inadequate” overall, noting concerns elsewhere including “forensic failure incidents due to staff shortages”, that staff were not reporting all safeguarding concerns and that “managers did not ensure safe and clean environments in the long stay rehabilitation service and learning disability service.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 10 June 2020
  5. Content Article
    The MHOST can be used in any mental health hospital within England, covering the following specialisms: Working age adult admission wards Old age functional and dementia wards Forensic (high and medium secure wards) CAHMS tier 4 wards Eating disorder wards Perinatal wards Psychiatric intensive care units Low secure and rehabilitation wards. The MHOST is part of a suite of Safer Nursing Care Tools (SNCT), delivered by the Shelford Group chief nurses in partnership with Imperial College London, which include those for adult in-patient wards, acute medical units and children and young people’s wards. The SNCT is endorsed by NICE and supported by NHS Improvement and NHS England. The SNCT are widely used across NHS organisations in England, as well as in private health providers and in many overseas healthcare organisations. Kenny Laing, deputy chief nurse at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and national lead nurse of the MHOST, said: “The Mental Health Optimal Staffing Tool is an innovative, yet simple to use, way of helping to ensure that mental health hospitals can make evidence based decisions on safe staffing levels that support patients’ needs. This new tool will not only help to improve the care and outcomes for some of the most vulnerable patients, it will also help to improve the working environment of staff in the mental health sector. I would urge all mental health hospitals to use the MHOST to guide them in their safe staffing decisions.”
  6. News Article
    A mental health charity has branded as “irresponsible” the Government’s coronavirus bill which would grant single doctors the power to detain the mentally ill. The Government wants to relax legal safeguards in the Mental Health Act in order to free up medical staff to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. If passed, the bill would reduce the number of doctors needed to approve detaining individuals from the current minimum of two, to just one. In addition, it would temporarily allow time limits in the Mental Health Act to be extended or removed altogether. This would mean patients currently detained in mental health facilities could be released into the community early, or be detained for longer. Akiko Hart, Chief of National Survivor User Network (NSUN), a UK mental health charity, said: “Whilst we understand that these are unprecedented times, any legislative change must be proportionate and thought through, and should protect all of us. Minimising some of the safeguards in the Mental Health Act and extending its powers, is a step in the wrong direction.” Read full story Source: The London Economic, 19 March 2020
  7. Content Article
    The report documents concerns about the lack of a properly independent investigation system, unlike deaths in prison and police custody which are independently investigated pre-inquest, and the consistent failure by most NHS Trusts to ensure the meaningful involvement of families in investigations. Ultimately, it highlights the lack of effective public scrutiny of deaths in mental health detention that frustrates the ability of NHS organisations to learn and make fundamental changes to policy and practice to protect mental health in-patients and prevent further fatalities and argues for urgent change to policy and practice.
  8. Content Article
    This powerful, honest, blog by Alison Cameron describes what its like to be a patient in a mental health unit. She calls for mixed sex wards to be eradicated within mental health units, better staffing and increased trauma training for staff. Her recount reinforces the importance of patient dignity, respect and humanising patient care within the mental health setting.
  9. Content Article
    This toolkit includes: The Productive Leader The Productive Ward The Productive Mental Health Ward The Productive Operating Theatre Productive Community Services The Productive Community Hospital Productive Endoscopy If you work in the NHS or social care you can access online (downloadable PDF) versions of the boxsets free of charge. To get your copy, email england.si-communications@nhs.net.
  10. News Article
    How many people die in California psychiatric facilities has been a difficult question to answer. No single agency keeps tabs on the number of deaths at psychiatric facilities in California, or elsewhere in the nation. In an effort to assess the scope of the problem, The Times submitted more than 100 public record requests to nearly 50 county and state agencies to obtain death certificates, coroner’s reports and hospital inspection records with information about these deaths. The Times review identified nearly 100 preventable deaths over the last decade at California psychiatric facilities. It marks the first public count of deaths at California’s mental health facilities and highlights breakdowns in care at these hospitals as well as the struggles of regulators to reduce the number of deaths. The total includes deaths for which state investigators determined that hospital negligence or malpractice was responsible, as well as all suicides and homicides, which experts say should not occur among patients on a psychiatric ward. It does not include people who died of natural causes or other health problems while admitted for a psychiatric illness. Read full story Source: Los Angeles Times, 1 December 2019
  11. Content Article
    Our recent observational study, published in the Health Informatics Journal, focussed on staff safety in the mental healthcare setting. We worked with a mental healthcare provider to extract and analyse incidents of adverse events. In one aspect of the work, we looked specifically at the incidents that were reported that had recorded a member of staff as a ‘victim’ of the adverse event. From the 1 September 2014 to the 31 March 2017, 19,693 members of staff were reported as victims across 10,119 adverse events. For context, this was the equivalent of around 25 incidents per week, but it is important to keep in mind that this was for both harmful and non-harmful incidents and near misses. The most common incident was ‘aggression by patient on staff or other’. We were interested in exploring whether nurse staffing levels affected adverse events on staff. To investigate this we made use of nurse staffing data for each inpatient area. We were able to obtain data that quantified the planned, the clinically required and the actual, staffing level of nurses. We found that, in many cases, registered nurse staffing affected staff safety. Where there were more registered nurses, there tended to be less adverse events on staff. We also found that, although there was also a relationship with unregistered nurses, staff harm was more resilient to understaffing of unregistered nurses. This leads us to hypothesise that the role of the registered nurse provides additional benefits to risk mitigation and that it’s not simply about head count but rather the type of skills and care provision that the healthcare team provides. However, it is important to note that these relationships were not consistent across all locations and all shifts. On the night shift, for example, we found that as the clinically required level of unregistered nurses decreased, the number of adverse events to staff increased. This suggested that where the perceived clinical demand was low, the risk to staff was highest. This has important implications. This implies that the perceived clinical demand for nursing staff doesn’t appropriately consider the risk of harm to staff, particularly during the night shift when the clinically required levels of unregistered nurses is insufficient to project staff from harm. The use of these data in this way is novel and as researchers, we are very excited about the promise of utilising routinely collected data to predict both patient harm and staff harm. We hope that this will provide significant opportunities to improve healthcare safety. In order to provide effective and sustained high levels of mental health care, we need to understand the challenges presented by the mental healthcare environment, and the need to staff these environments in such a way that keeps the workforce safe. We are doing a long term study to explore the environment and workforce retention in secondary and mental healthcare. You can find out more here.