In October and November 2020, CQC carried out unannounced focused inspections of Finchingfield Ward, at the Linden Center, in Chelmsford. The trust’s 17 bedded inpatient mental health ward which provides care and treatment for men experiencing acute mental health difficulties. The inspection was carried out due to concerning information raised to the commission regarding safety incidents leading to concerns around risk of harm.
The latest inspection found that some staff did not follow the required actions to maintain patient safety.
For example, garden areas required staff to observe patients due to environmental risks. Inspectors witnessed an incident on closed-circuit television which showed observing staff were not present and this contributed to an incident of patient absconsion.
In addition, staff did not keep accurate records of patient care and managers did not check the quality and accuracy of notes. Staff failed to correctly record patient’s mental health act status and they did not always make entries to records in a timely way.
Inspectors looked at safety only and did not rate the service at this time. The service was last inspected from July to August 2019 and was rated as Requires Improvement. The trust’s overall rating of Good remains.
CQC’s Head of Hospital Inspection (mental health and community health services), Stuart Dunn, said:
“During our inspection of Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust’s inpatient mental health wards for men, we found concerns around patient safety due to unsafe observation practices and shifts not always being covered by staff with the appropriate experience and competency to meet patients’ needs.
“We served warning notices to ensure improvements are made around safe care and treatment, staffing and good governance.
“We have reported our findings to the trust leadership, which knows what it must do to bring about further improvements and ensure it maintains any already made. We will return to check on the trust’s progress.”
The full report can be found here CQC report Linden Center.
HOW MANY MORE NOTICES AND WARNINGS WILL IT TAKE BEFORE SERVICES IMPROVE?
WE MUST HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY AND THE ONLY WAY FOR THAT TO HAPPEN IS FOR A STATUTORY PUBLIC INQUIRY TO HAPPEN!!!