Mental health patients ‘failed’ says report on Hellesdon Hospital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report said improvements were needed

Hellesdon Hospital

A Norfolk hospital which looks after people with mental health problems is failing to meet expected levels of care, according to a report.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report on Hellesdon Hospital said improvements were needed.

It said patients’ needs were “not always assessed in a timely way” and many care plans were out of date.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said it was addressing concerns.

The CQC also found that risk assessments were often incomplete, and that one patient inspectors talked to did not know he had been detained under the Mental Health Act.

‘Sadly expected’

It said that two patients told the inspectors that “they did not have any clean clothes to change into”.

The report said that some patients were admitted for longer than required or placed on wards that provide “care and treatment at a higher level than they required”.

The CQC also highlighted examples of excellent care at the hospital and said it met national standards in dealing with complaints, safeguarding people from abuse and in working with other health care providers.

North Norfolk MP and health minister Norman Lamb said: “The CQC has found that the hospital is sometimes failing to respect privacy, dignity and independence. It is now critical that the trust responds with a genuine sense of urgency to rectify the concerns raised by the CQC.”

Emma Corlett, Unison union spokeswoman for staff at the trust, said: “The conclusions of this report are sadly entirely expected. They raise the exact same concerns that Unison members working on the frontline have themselves been raising for months.

‘Disappointed by report’

“Care minister Norman Lamb MP also bears responsibility. It is not acceptable for him to just continue to criticise the mental health trust. He needs to take urgent action. If he genuinely believes in the ‘parity of esteem’ for mental health services he relentlessly talks about, he must provide additional funding, and quickly.”

In December the trust put forward plans to cut 400 posts as part of plans to cut £40m over four years.

Dr Jane Sayer, director of nursing at the trust, said: “We are naturally disappointed to read the CQC’s report but the safety of our patients is at the heart of what we do. We have already put in place measures to address the issues reported.

“We are encouraged, however, that the CQC reported positively on other aspects, including standards of care, staffing levels, and quality and standards of management.”