Mental health hospital ‘requires improvement’ after concerns for patient safety

An East Yorkshire mental health hospital has been told to improve after health inspectors raised concerns over patient safety. Priory Hospital in Market Weighton has been given a “requires improvement” rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a recent inspection.

Priory Hospital, which provides long-stay rehabilitation for up to 15 men, was rated as “good” for its care but “requires improvement” in the categories of safe, effective, responsive, and well-led. One urgent issue raised was the lack of nurse call alarms for patients in the hospital’s occupational therapy building.

At the time of the February inspection, there were 13 patients staying at the Market Weighton hospital with “severe and enduring” mental health issues, including 12 detained under the Mental Health Act and one under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard. People sectioned under the Mental Health Act may be at risk of harming themselves or others, and people under a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard may need to be kept in a locked ward or room and lack the capacity to make decisions about their care.

Read more: Hull care home loses ‘good’ rating after surprise CQC inspection

Five patients had a learning disability or autism and this was taken into account in how the CQC inspectors rated the hospital. The inspectors identified a number of concerns during their visits between February 21 and 23, including a lack of space for staff to take breaks and a delay in finding a suitable occupational therapist.

The inspection report also notes:

  • “The facilities were not suitable to promote the treatment, privacy, and dignity for people with mobility difficulties” – there was no room specifically adapted to the needs of a patient who required a large wheelchair
  • “Staff comfort was compromised due to limited space within the hospital for staff to use for administrative work or a suitably sized room for staff to use during breaks”
  • “Patients, staff, and visitors did not always have easy access to nurse call systems” – in particular, there were no alarms available to patients in the hospital’s occupational therapy building
  • There had been no occupational therapist for seven months on the long stay or rehabilitation wards for working-age adults, though a candidate had been identified to start the role in May 2022

The hospital’s long stay or rehabilitation mental health awards for working-age adults were also rated as “requires improvement”. On the other hand, many aspects of the Priory Hospital impressed the inspectors

For example, staffing levels overall were sufficient and good practice was followed with safeguarding and minimizing the use of restrictive practices. Other positive aspects of the report include:

  • Staff understood their roles and responsibilities under the Mental Health Act 1983 and managers made sure that staff could explain patients’ rights to them

  • “People received kind and compassionate care from staff who protected and respected their privacy and dignity”

  • Patients and those important to them, including their advocates, were actively involved in planning their care

The hospital, which is run by Burnside Care Ltd, was directed by the CQC to take five actions to bring services into line with legal requirements concerning safe care and treatment, person-centred care, and premises. This included ensuring access to an alarm in all areas of the hospital and ensuring facilities support the “comfort, privacy and dignity of those patients with mobility needs”.

Priory Hospital, Market Weighton was approached for comment. To view the CQC inspection report in full, click here.

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