Safety Warning Issued to Greater Manchester Trust
After users were found to be at risk of harm following an inspection by the CQC, the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust has seen its rating drop to “inadequate” and told to make immediate safety improvements, According to a recent report.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an inspection on the Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust in April after concerns were raised by a whistleblower.
The inspectors discovered that users and carers struggled to contact the service for support or during a crisis.
The trust on its part said it acknowledged the findings and will address the concerns.
The health regulator said that the trust, which runs Prestwich Hospital in Bury, retains its overall "good" rating but its safety rating for mental health services has dropped to "inadequate" - the lowest level.
The warning issued by the CQC concerning the trust's community-based mental health services for adults came after it had inspected two teams and made the following findings;
- Patients and carers could not contact the service with ease regarding care and treatment.
- The service struggled with low staffing levels and high turnover rates.
- The service did not monitor patients waiting for assessment and treatment effectively nor did it keep risk assessments up to date.
- Staff were not consistent with assessing and managing risks or keeping good care records
Earlier this year in the aftermath of the fatal stabbing of seven-year-old Emily Jones by a psychiatric patient which the trust said could not have been prevented, the trust came in for strong criticisms in an independent review.
It has also been identified in a confidential report in 2021, that there are staff shortages
Brian Cranna, the watchdog's head of hospital inspection, said "managers supported and supervised newly qualified staff well and patients said the service was good", adding that people using the service and their carers said they struggled to contact the service for support or when in crisis.
According to him, "This left people at risk of harm as they had no way to tell staff their mental health had worsened."
Deborah Partington, chief operating officer at the trust, said the Covid-19 pandemic had led to an increase in demand for mental health services and also impacted negatively on the recruitment process adding more pressure on the capacity of services.
She however said: "We will continue to work as hard as we can to improve our services for those who need us, and we would like to reassure people that service users in our care are safe."
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