CQC publish report into Trust adult mental health wards

21 April 2023

Today the CQC have published their latest report following unannounced, focused inspections at Antelope House, Parklands Hospital and Elmleigh in October 2022. The aim of these inspections was to follow up on the progress of improvements the Trust has been making since the CQC's previous inspection in October 2021. 

Following the latest inspection, the overall rating for these services has not changed and remains as requires improvement, as have the ratings for safe, responsive and well-led. Caring and effective remained rated as good.

Below is a statement from Ron Shields, Chief Executive for the Trust which addresses the latest inspection report.

Ron Shields, Chief Executive, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, commented:
“We are obviously disappointed that the CQC found some issues which had not progressed as quickly as was expected when they visited in October 2022. Since this visit, further progress has been made and we are addressing the specific points raised in this report.

“We are encouraged that the report also highlights positive improvements since the previous inspection and that these services remain rated 'Good' for being caring and effective. Overall, the Trust remains rated 'Good' for being well led, caring and responsive. All community services are rated 'Good'.

“There continues to be significant staff shortages in some of our mental health units but the staff on all our mental health wards do an incredible job.  The Trust is committed to bring about the very best quality of care for everyone who uses our services.”

A summary of the key improvements and positive practice found by the inspectors is below:

  • All ward environments were safe, clean, well equipped, well furnished, well maintained and fit for purpose.
  • Ward teams included the full range of specialists to properly meet the needs of patients on the wards – and they worked together to make sure patients had no gaps in their care.
  • Staff provided a range of treatment and care for patients based on national guidance and best practice.
  • Staff made sure patients had good access to physical healthcare and supported them to live healthier lives. The process for monitoring patients’ physical health had been strengthened.
  • Managers made sure they had staff with the range of skills needed to provide high quality care - and they supported staff to develop these skills further.
  • The services had enough nursing and medical staff, who knew the patients and had received training, to keep people safe from avoidable harm.
  • Staff managed beds well. A bed was available when a patient needed one, patients weren’t moved between wards (unless for their benefit) and patients did not have to stay in hospital if they were well enough to leave.
  • Staff assessed the physical and mental health of all patients on admission. They developed individual care plans - involving patients in this process and giving them their own copy - which were then reviewed regularly. These care plans were personalised, holistic and recovery focused.
  • Improvements were made to the way staff met patients’ dietary needs and how they assessed those needing specialist care for nutrition and hydration. Leaders also took action during the inspection last autumn to implement a new food and fluid recording template.
  • Staff felt more able to speak up about their concerns and knew how to escalate any issues.
  • Staff now managed patient safety incidents well and received support if involved in one.
  • Psychologists worked closely with ward staff on Trinity ward (Antelope House) to train them in psychological intervention techniques.
  • At Antelope House, good practice was observed regarding patients who required short periods of informal hospital stay (to help stabilise them) before discharge back to the community.
  • The wards at Parklands had the Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) - which recognises high standards of organisation and care.

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