Improvements needed on trust’s mental health ward

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has called for further improvements to be made on a ward at a south-west London mental health trust.

Ward 2 at Springfield University Hospital, an acute ward of adults of working age, is part of South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.

CQC inspectors found that: staffing levels were not sufficient to ensure patient safety or ensure patients’ needs were met; patients reported they would like more interaction with staff; further improvements to potential high risk ligature points were required; medicines were stored at the incorrect temperature; staff did not always ensure that male patients were prevented from entering the female part of the ward unobserved by staff; and patients’ care plans did not record that patients had been involved in their development.

Inspectors did however find the following areas of good practice: the ward was in the process of introducing the Dynamic Appraisal of Situational Aggression (DASA); patients said staff were caring and compassionate and that they were listed to and involved their care and treatment; and risk assessments for patients were thorough and detailed.

The new ward manager had a positive impact on the staff team and quality of care on the ward.

Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector (lead for mental health), said: “CQC has rated South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust as Good overall. However, there is always room for improvement and Ward 2 at Springfield University Hospital is a case in point. Although there is no rating attached to the latest inspection report there are areas where improvements could be made.”

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