CQC demands improvements at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust that it must improve the quality of care provided to patients in its acute ward for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Park House, North Manchester General Hospital. 

The unannounced, focused inspection took place in December following concerns regarding the safety of patients and leadership on the ward. 

Following the inspection, CQC had significant concerns about the environment on the ward. Inspectors informed the trust of their findings and told them they need to take immediate action to address the issues. 

CQC’s interim head of hospital inspection for mental health in the north, Brian Cranna, said:

“During our inspection in December, we could see that staff at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust were working hard to provide good care to patients in a very challenging environment. 

“However, we had serious concerns about some of their ward environment and the risk to patients, and action was required to manage this risk. 

“We informed the trust’s leadership team of our concerns and told them that they must immediately address the issues about the ward environment in a short time frame to assure us that the ward was safe for patients. The trust has made some urgent improvements and knows what it must do to ensure further actions are carried out. 

“We will continue to monitor the trust and will return to check on progress to ensure the improvements made are thoroughly embedded.” 
The CQC inspection team identified concerns which included:
•           The design, layout, and furnishings of the ward did not support patients’ treatment, privacy and dignity.

•           The previous plan for improving the ward environment had not been kept up to date. There should have been monthly walkarounds and the last one completed was in July 2020. From this walkaround, there was a long list of maintenance issues that needed addressing but the action plan did not detail what had been done to address this or an expected completion date. 

The inspection team also found some good practice which included:
•           Ward teams had access to the information they needed to provide safe and effective care and used that information to good effect.

•           Staff understood how to protect patients from abuse and the service worked well with other agencies to do so. Staff had training on how to recognise and report abuse and they knew how to apply it.
Full details of the inspection are given in the report published online at: https://www.cqc.org.uk/provider/RXV/inspection-summary#mhpsychintensive