09 March 2011

Hospitals pass quality and safety check with flying colours

Fountain Way Hospital in Salisbury and Green Lane Hospital in Devizes, run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, are both meeting all the essential standards of quality and safety, according to recent independent inspections.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has just published reports on both inspections which looked at 16 standards during visits to the hospital in January.

Inspectors observed how people were being cared for, talked to those who use services and to staff, as well as checking records.

Executive Director of Nursing, Compliance, Assurance and Standards, Hazel Watson welcomed the reports and said:  "We are pleased that these inspections confirm that staff at both hospitals are meeting the CQC's requirements and that the quality and safety of care given to service users is being independently recognised.

"Although fully compliant, we are constantly trying to improve our standards and the CQC has helpfully highlighted some areas where we might take further steps to strengthen the service as well as indicating that it will monitor improvements already in the pipeline."

In presenting its findings, the CQC reports a number of common themes across both Wiltshire hospitals.  Service users told inspectors that they liked their bedrooms, enjoyed the leisure facilities and were treated with dignity and respect by staff.  They felt their views were listened to, that they could influence the way the ward operated and that they could tell staff if they had problems.  Relatives at Fountain Way also reported that they were happy with how they were kept informed.

The reports show that service users indicated to inspectors that they wanted more time with their consultant, more variety in menus and more activities at weekends.

The CQC has told the Trust that it will monitor current activity to strengthen the consent process for care,  that more should be done to audit staff training in relation to restraint techniques and more effort should be made to ensure that all staff are trained in diversity.

To further improve the current compliant approach, CQC suggested that menu choice, particularly for those with special dietary needs, should be reviewed,  that minor repair work should be undertaken to the service users' kitchen in Devizes and that provision for smokers in Salisbury's Ashdown Unit be improved.    Record keeping should show that service users understood their medication and that the request for secure personal storage in service user bedrooms in Devizes should also be considered.

Ms Watson said:  "We will look at all the comments made by the CQC and take steps to further strengthen the quality and safety regime at the hospitals so that all service users benefit."

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