A mental health trust slammed 12 months ago for its poor patient safety systems has made significant progress since but must go further, the Care Quality Commission said today.
In a follow-up report to the regulator’s damning verdict on West London Mental Health NHS Trust in 2009, the CQC said the trust had made “significant improvements” in risk management to protect patients.
However, it said more needed to be done to improve service users’ experience of provision and care planning at the trust, which includes Broadmoor high-security hospital.
The trust was investigated by the CQC and its predecessor, the Healthcare Commission,, following concerns about its response to suicides and serious incidents.
The 2008-9 investigation found significant delays in the completion of trust reports into serious incidents, and a failure to learn from them and act on findings. It also uncovered wider problems, including patients sleeping on sofas due to there being insufficient beds, buildings being in urgent need of upgrading, low staffing levels and low take-up of mandatory training. The report concluded the trust’s system for keeping patients safe was “seriously flawed”.
Today’s report found progress had been made in the investigation and reporting of risks and serious incidents, which had a much higher profile within the trust than previously, with staff aware of recent incidents in their units and lessons learned from them.
All patients were now allocated a bed on admission, staff vacancy levels were falling and staff attendance at training was now given a higher priority.
However, of 43 service users interviewed, just 19 confirmed that they had a care plan and 29 that they had a named nurse, while some users claimed staff attitudes were poor.
Colin Hough, the CQC’s regional director for London and the South East, praised the improvements but said it would continue to monitor the trust’s progress against the recommendations of last year’s report.