Eight areas of concern found at one ward in Norfolk hospital

The Julian Hospital, Norwich; For : Evening News/EDP; Copy : Katie Cooper/Shaun Lowthorpe; Photo : S

The Julian Hospital, Norwich; For : Evening News/EDP; Copy : Katie Cooper/Shaun Lowthorpe; Photo : Steve Adams; Copyright Archant Norfolk - Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk.

Our region's mental health trust insists it has a 'robust system in place to monitor progress' after a health watchdog found eight areas of concern at a ward in a Norfolk hospital.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found staff at Beach Ward, in Hammerton Court, Julian Hospital, Bowthorpe Road, Norwich, had carried out incomplete record-keeping, incomplete risk-assessments, and that there was a 'poor compliance with mental capacity assessments.'

Beach Ward, run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), opened in May this year and offers care to dementia patients with acute needs, and assessment and treatment planning.

Debbie White, director of operations (Norfolk and Waveney) at NSFT, said: 'As a result of a routine CQC Mental Health Act inspection there were a number of recommendations concerning mental capacity assessments, record-keeping, and risk-assessments.

'Our trust has submitted an action plan to the CQC to address these.

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'We are working hard with staff and managers to implement these actions and now have a robust system in place to monitor progress.'

The trust, which is currently in special measures, is also developing a 'workforce development strategy' to strengthen their clinical teams with new roles, including non-medical prescribers and assistant practitioners.

It follows the trust having identified a number of areas to make improvements after staff carried out a mock-CQC inspection at two inpatient units.

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Improvements need to be made in workforce development, safety in clinical assessment processes, and 'compliance with best practice,' the inspection found.

Ms White said: 'The mock inspections of the two inpatient wards highlight our trust's firm commitment to make changes required to further improve the quality of our services.

'We introduced a programme of mock inspections, inviting the clinical commissioning groups (CCG) to take part, to gauge the progress we have made and, where necessary, to make further enhancements to ensure our Quality Improvement Plan is effective.

'The new posts will enhance the current career pathway for both qualified and unqualified staff, and improve further the care our service-users receive.

The trust will hold a full mock inspection in December, ahead of the CQC's visit next year.

Ms White said the trust was 'on the road to recovery' and is making 'good progress in many areas.'

Trust representatives meet monthly with regulator Monitor and other health bodies.

Do you have a story about mental health?

Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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