Staffing concerns in mental trust report

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The body responsible for mental health care in Rugby has received a mixed report from inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission found that Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust deserved praise for its eating disorder service, the way staff from different disciplines work together to help people as they leave hospital and the quality of its children’s respite services.

But the commission found a number of areas in which the trust needs to improve. These include the planning and delivery of care to meet people’s individual needs and the protection of people from unsafe or unsuitable premises.

The inspectors said the trust also needs to make sure suitable storage, recording and monitoring systems are in place to ensure medicines are handled safely and appropriately, that there are sufficient numbers of suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff available at all times, and that accurate records, containing the appropriate information about people’s care and treatment, are maintained and records securely kept securely.

Chief Inspector Professor Sir Mike Richards: “We found some examples of good practice in services at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust and excellent training for some teams but there were inconsistencies and good practice was not always replicated across the organisation.

“Staff employed by the trust were caring and committed and they interacted well with patients.

“However, some wards were poorly staffed and frequently used agency workers or non-permanent staff, which meant the ability of staff to provide consistent care was reduced. Improvements were also needed with regard to the trust learning from incidents and communicating consistent messages to staff. The trust is aware of its shortcomings, is receptive to our findings and has already begun to address the issues.”

Trust chief executive Rachel Newson said: “Our staff do a tremendous job every day providing high quality services, often for very vulnerable people, and this shines through again and again in this report.

“However, we recognise there are a number of areas where we still need to improve, particularly around how we spread our good practice to all areas of our trust.

“We are already working to make sure we focus on these issues and have clear plans to address all of the concerns that have been raised.

“We will continue to work with staff, patients, carers and other organisations. We will work to ensure our services meet or exceed the high standards of care that the people we serve rightly expect.”

In a typical day, the trust deals with nearly 5,000 people.