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Found 41 results
  1. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised concerns about the treatment of patients at mental health units run by Cygnet. It follows inspections in the wake of a BBC Panorama investigation about alleged abuse at Wharlton Hall in County Durham. The CQC found that patients under the firm's care were more likely to be restrained. Higher rates of self-harm were also noted by inspectors who quizzed managers and analysed records at the company's headquarters. The regulator also found a lack of clear lines of accountability between the executive team and its services. It said directors' identity and disclosure and barring service checks had been carried out, butd that required checks had not been made to ensure that directors and board members met the "fit and proper" person test for their roles. Systems used to manage risk were also criticised, while training for intermediate life support was not provided to all relevant staff across services where physical intervention or rapid tranquilisation was used. Cygnet runs more than 100 services for vulnerable adults and children, caring for people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and eating disorders. The CQC says Cygnet must now take immediate action to address the concerns raised. Cygnet said a number of the services highlighted have since been improved, but "we are not complacent and take on board recommendations where we must improve". Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 January 2020
  2. News Article
    A Dublin mental health centre has failed to comply with the code of practice on physical restraint for four consecutive years, an inspection report has found. The 39-bed Elm Mount Unit at St Vincent’s University Hospital said the issue was now high risk. Two episodes were recorded by the Mental Health Commission (MHC) where the staff member responsible for leading the physical restraint did not monitor the person’s head or airway, and that this went undocumented. In another case, inspectors noted, the physical restraint was not reviewed by members of the multidisciplinary team and recorded correctly. There was also concern regarding the administration of medicine, specifically deficits in the prescription and administration record “which could potentially lead to medication errors”. Read full story Source: The Irish Times, 17 December 2019
  3. News Article
    A "life-changing" mental health service at three hospitals in north Wales is to be expanded to GP surgeries. More than 2,500 people have used 'I Can' centres at Glan Clwyd, Gwynedd and Wrexham Maelor hospitals since the trial was launched earlier this year. The centres offer support to patients at A&E departments who may not require medical treatment or a bed. They employ both volunteers and paid staff, many of whom have experienced mental health issues themselves. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said the service allowed people to talk about mental health issues away from wards. It hopes extending the scheme to GP surgeries and community hubs will allow people to get support close to home if they do not need medical treatment. Read full story Source: 9 December 2019
  4. News Article
    Patients with mental health problems are being left in limbo on "hidden" waiting lists by England's NHS talking therapy service, the BBC can reveal. The service, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, provides therapy, such as counselling, to adults with conditions like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. It starts seeing nine in 10 patients within the target time of six weeks, but that masks the fact many then face long waits for regular treatment. Half of patients waited over 28 days, and one in six longer than 90 days, between their first and second sessions in the past year. Charities said the headline target was giving a false impression of what was happening, warning that patients were facing "hidden waits" that were putting their health at risk. NHS England acknowledged the pressure on the system was causing delays, but pointed out that despite the delays, half of patients given treatment still recovered. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 December 2019
  5. 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
  6. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated six mental health hospitals “inadequate”, just months after describing them as either “good” or “outstanding”, since the Whorlton Hall scandal was revealed. HSJ analysis shows that of the 13 mental health hospitals admitting people with learning disabilities or autism which have been rated “inadequate” by the CQC since May this year, six of them dropped at least two ratings in a short space of time. The six hospitals which dropped at least two ratings include Whorlton Hall — the County Durham hospital closed following a BBC Panorama report in May showing residents being mistreated — which the CQC rated as “good” in December 2017 before revising this to “inadequate” in May. The BBC investigation prompted the CQC to investigate all similar mental health hospitals run by Cygnet, which took over the running of Whorlton Hall in January 2019. Cygnet Newbus Grange in Darlington — which was rated “outstanding” in a report published in February 2019 – was judged “inadequate” by September, while Cygnet Acer Clinic in Chesterfield fell from “good” in November 2018 to “inadequate’ in a report published 12 months later. The other three hospitals were the Breightmet Centre for Autism in Bolton, Kneesworth House in Hertfordshire and The Woodhouse Independent Hospital in Staffordshire. It comes as the CQC prepares to publish independent reports on its role in relation to the Whorlton Hall scandal. NHS England — one of the commissioners, along with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups, of learning disability inpatient care — also last month initiated a “taskforce” on the issue. The CQC has acknowledged it needed to “strengthen” its assessments of this type of care and said it had begun to do so, and was reviewing them further “from a human rights perspective”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 2 December 2019
  7. Content Article
    I started my career in a care of the elderly ward (geriatrics), which was exciting as my first job, and I felt that my time management needed to be worked on prior to me starting my career in what I knew at the time to be emergency nursing. I stayed in this area for a year, taking charge of the shift and also managing a bay of eight patients, which was the norm (or so I thought). After about 1 year, I thought about moving on, continuing to learn, and I started working in an intensive care unit (ICU). During my time in ICU, I made a drug error involving a controlled drug. Without going into too much detail, there was a lot of factors involved in this case and I was told I was going down the disciplinary route. This was a real low point for me and I felt like I really needed support, not only to come to terms with the error itself, but also support from a reflective side – what I can do, so this doesn’t happen again. I was a new band 5 nurse in the department with no previous ITU experience, with a new Band 6 and Band 7 leading the team which we were working with solidly. They chose not to suspend me, but keep me working without being able to complete medications. I continued to work as per rota, never taking a day off sick, etc. This continued for about 3 months unable to complete my job role to its full potential, and continuing the days and nights and the weekend shifts, along with personal issues of my own to contend with also. I thought at the time it was normal to feel like this post an error, but in hindsight, the support I received was not adequate. In fact, I would go as far as to say I didn’t get any support, other than the normal "are you okay" at the start of each shift. By the time the disciplinary happened, I was 'rock bottom', which is banded around a lot, but I didn’t see a way out, without my family and partner saying that I needed to get out, I don’t know what I would have done. Nevertheless, I left for new horizons, and changed my speciality. I went to A&E where I knew I wanted to be, with a great team, with great management and culture. However, one day I let them down. I completed a second drug error. This was involving an insulin/dextrose infusion for hyperkalaemia, which I mixed up for hyperglycaemia. This error rattled me again. I felt like I was going down that 'rabbit hole' yet again, becoming more and more anxious and needing extra support, more than ever. Fortunately, the patient was okay and was identified quickly. The error was serious and after talking to my manager, they suspended me from clinical duties whilst the investigation was occurring. This was absolutely devastating to me. I felt like I was just settled in my job, feeling more positive about my career that I love so much. Whilst the investigation was going on, I continued my non-clinical work, completing various tasks that would normally take an age to complete. This is where I fell in love with the non-clinical side of the department and continue to work in this area today. However, in contrast to the first incident, I was asked whether I was okay, but also followed up with regular 1:1 welfare meetings, and felt like my manager was actively supporting me. I also started a piece of work on preventing this incident happening again. I have now gone up the ladder in the same organisation, and continue to feel settled. However, this really put the importance of supporting people as one of the main priorities in my daily practice. It also put into context the real need for establishing and integrating a no blame culture and getting rid of the culture of fear. It is very easy to forget the mental health aspect. Patient safety is aimed at patients (quite rightly so), but I think somewhere in the mix, we forget about that individual who takes this home day in, day out. I understand that there is accountability and there is taking responsibility for your actions as per the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Conduct. But I think we forget about humanity and the need for support and coming together when one of your team is 'down'. I can honestly say, without my team and my managers, I wouldn’t be the nurse I am today, and I am forever grateful. And those people who have done errors or know what this is like, maybe you’re going through this today; there is light at the end of the tunnel. I share my story with the upmost respect and apologies to the patients involved and also to my team!
  8. Content Article
    The team talk about an app that is now used across all wards in the Trust to measure the physical and therapeutic observation of service users. They explain how this app is helping identify deteriorating patients much earlier on, as well as freeing up more time for direct patient care and providing more accurate results. Viewers will also learn how they can adopt what the team have done within their own organisation through the blueprint that has been created of this project. The GDE blueprints can be found on the FutureNHS platform. To register, email: gdeblueprints@nhsx.nhs.uk
  9. Community Post
    Does anyone have examples of templates they use for reviewing unexpected deaths in the community of patients known to mental health services?
  10. Content Article
    Main findings: Many investigations were of poor quality and took too long to complete. There was a lack of leadership, focus and sufficient time spent in the Trust on carefully reporting and investigating deaths. There was a lack of family involvement in investigations after a death. Opportunities for the Trust to learn and improve were missed. Of the 1,454 deaths recorded at the Trust during this period, 722 were categorised as unexpected by the Trust. Of these 540 were reviewed and 272 unexpected deaths received a significant investigation.
  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.