Hospital bosses defend record after CQC criticism

Politics / Wed 19th Mar 2014 at 12:51pm

THE Chelmer and Stort Wards at the Derwent Centre, Harlow, are providing good, safe mental health care according to reports published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This is the response from the North Essex Partnership despite a number of grave concerns that the report highlighted.

The reports, which followed unannounced routine visits to the wards which are run by North Essex Partnership are positive says the NEP but raise some issues which had ‘minor impact’ on patients and which the Trust is already addressing.

Chelmer and Stort Mental Health Wards are two in-patient mental health wards at the Derwent Centre, located on the Princess Alexandra Hospital site. Stort Ward is a 16 bed acute in-patient psychiatric ward for male patients. Chelmer is a 16 bed with a 4 bed annexe acute inpatient psychiatric ward for female patients. They are registered to provide assessment or medical treatment for persons who may be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 and treatment of disease, disorder or injury.

The CQC report said : “We saw that overall people experienced care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights. We were told that people were actively encouraged to participate in their individual treatment programme and that they accessed specialist therapies and other support from staff.”

However they found two of six standards were not met. These standards referred to record keeping and recording how legal rights were explained to those people who cannot consent to treatment.

Andrew Geldard, Chief Executive, said: “The CQC have confirmed these wards provide good and safe patient care and we thank the staff for their care and dedication.

“We have fallen below two standards which is disappointing but justified. Good record keeping is good professional practice. It is never ‘just paperwork’; it should record what has been done and how risks are managed.

“Staff know this and share my disappointment. When it comes to legal rights, we must remember we have considerable legal powers at our disposal for mental illness and we must always use them lawfully. This is partly a training issue and the CQC will be back to independently check our progress.”

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