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Mental Health Hospitals Learning Disability and Mental Health Act Inspections Annual Report 2016-17

Read the findings from our mental health hospitals, learning disability and Mental Health Act inspections during 2016-17.

During 2016-17 we inspected mental health establishments in Health Boards (HB’s) and independent mental health and learning disability hospitals.

We conducted a total of 29 Inspections (28 hospitals visited 1 visited twice) specifically we conducted 53 Mental Health Act Monitoring visits, a number of which were undertaken as part of our in-depth mental health inspections.

What we found

  • Patients expressed satisfaction with the standards of care and caring approach displayed by staff
  • Comprehensive and well maintained Mental Health Act records
  • Comprehensive assessments of Capacity
  • NHS hospitals continuing working towards and obtaining external accreditation, including Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS), and Safe wards, this is to be commended;
  • The level of psychology and occupational therapy input across the independent sector is noteworthy.
  • The openness of staff and patients to engage with the inspection process across both NHS and independent hospitals is generally very good.
  • The positive rapport between patients and staff, despite staff dealing with very challenging patients;

Our concerns

We also identified a number of concerning themes for the NHS and independent hospitals during our inspections including;

  • Concerns about the choice, quality of food and a lack of evidence that the nutritional needs of patients were being met
  • The delivery of physical healthcare
  • A lack of infection prevention and control
  • A lack of robust processes for managing risk
  • A lack of maintenance
  • A lack of robust care and treatment planning including risk
  • A lack of sufficient in-patient beds
  • Availability of sufficient staff with the right skills and knowledge

Particularly disappointing was the number of significant issues that were identified during 2015-16 but continued to be an issue during 2016-17. Health Boards and Independent providers must develop long term strategies to sufficiently address the areas identified within this report and to ensure that the needs of this vulnerable patient group are sufficiently addressed.