Eleanor Independent Hospital in West Didsbury has been placed into special measures
A women’s mental health facility in south Manchester has been put into special measures after members of staff were found to have fallen asleep when they were supposed to be monitoring high-risk patients.
Eleanor Independent Hospital in West Didsbury was rated ‘inadequate’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in May – which also found some staff didn’t know the names of patients they were caring for.
The hospital, run by Eleanor EHC Limited, provides care for up to 34 women who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder or mental illness. The service was previously rated as ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection in 2021.
Inspectors highlighted significant concerns about the medicines management at the hospital and found errors around the prescribing, recording, and dispensing of medicines which placed people at a serious risk of harm.
“Patients and their carers reported that staff weren’t very caring and didn’t seem to be fully aware of how to support the people in their care. Staff were often on their phones instead of supporting and engaging with people,” they said.
The inspection also found the service didn’t have enough nursing and support staff to keep patient’s safe, the hospital’s risk assessment process was flawed and that patients did not feel at the forefront of their care.
Inspectors also said risk assessments and care plans were often incorrect or out of date, and staff often didn’t understand patient’s individual needs and what items they needed to remove to prevent them harming themselves.
They found some bedrooms contained belongings piled high almost to the ceiling and window ledges also completely covered – indicating they were not adequately cleaned.
Brian Cranna, CQC head of hospital inspection for mental health and community services, said: “When our inspectors returned to Eleanor Independent Hospital, they were concerned to see a decline in the quality of care being provided to women at the service.
“The service wasn’t well-led and didn’t have a registered manager at the time of our inspection. This contributed to the hospital lacking oversight of this specific service which had caused serious issues to develop regarding people’s safety.
“Staff often fell asleep when people were supposed to have an increased level of observation putting them at an increased risk of harm. Some staff didn’t know the names of the patients they were caring for and weren’t briefed on why they were observing them.
“We also had significant concerns about the medicines management at the hospital and found many errors around the prescribing, recording, and dispensing of medicines which placed people at a serious risk of harm.
“Inspectors will continue to monitor service closely to ensure people are safe. If we are not assured people are receiving safe care, we will not hesitate to take further action.”
A spokesperson for Eleanor EHC Limited said: “Since the inspection that took place early this year, we have been working closely with the CQC and our Commissioning team to make significant improvements at the service. We have greatly appreciated the commitment and ongoing support from our external stakeholders.
“We have since appointed an experienced Hospital Manager and Psychiatric Consultant who bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the service. We have invested in training and environmental improvements along with successful gains in recruitment.
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Source: Manchester Evening News, 10th September 2022
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