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Inspectors find mental health services at Glanrhyd Hospital in Bridgend are improving

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has issued a report (15 February) following an inspection of mental health services at Angelton Clinic, within Glanrhyd Hospital in Bridgend, managed by Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

Angelton Clinic Glanhryd Hospital Mental Health Services

The inspection took place over three days in November 2023, and focused on Wards 1 and 2, which provide care for older people with serious mental health diagnoses and dementia.

Inspectors found staff were committed to providing safe and effective care, and it was positive to find that since our previous inspection in 2022, many improvements had been made. Overall, we were assured that the service had established policies, processes, and audits in place to manage risk and health and safety. We found additional audit processes had been introduced since the last inspection, to address the key areas for improvement, such as senior nurse monthly spot checks and daily door security checks. Despite these improvements, inspectors did find several potential safety risks, including the inconsistent use of staff personal safety alarms, and the accessibility of emergency lifesaving equipment. However, these concerns were rectified by hospital staff during the inspection. 

Inspectors observed staff interacting with patients respectfully throughout the inspection. Staff demonstrated a caring and understanding attitude to patients and communicated using appropriate and effective language. All patients had their own bedroom and bathroom, which maintained their privacy and dignity. Patient care plans reflected individual needs and risks and were being maintained to a good standard.

We found a strong ethos of continuous service improvement at the hospital. Inspectors noted that staff were receptive and responsive to our findings and recommendations and were enthusiastic and motivated. It was clear the health board was committed to continuously reviewing the level of care being provided on the wards, with established governance arrangements in place to provide oversight of clinical and operational issues. Inspectors noted several health board policies were undated or outdated, resulting in a lack of clear guidance for staff.  Whilst there had been notable improvements with staff mandatory training compliance since our last inspection, we found that improvement was still required. 

At the time of our inspection the hospital’s staffing levels met the health boards targets, however, it was concerning to note a high number of permanent staffing vacancies. We were advised the hospital relied upon a high use of agency staff to fill vacant shifts, which placed additional pressure on ward staff as agency staff are less familiar with the patients. Some staff we spoke with during the inspection felt there were not enough staff on the wards to meet the rising patient demand. 

Alun Jones, Chief Executive of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales commented:

It is positive to see that improvements have been made to support the safe care of patients since our last inspection of mental health services at Glanrhyd Hospital. Inspectors did note some areas which require improvement to reduce risks to the patients, staff and visitors. The health board has produced a comprehensive plan setting out their improvement actions and we will continue to closely monitor their progress.