The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust it must make improvements following an inspection of their community-based mental health services for people of working age in October.
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust provides community mental health services for adults of a working age to people from Bolton, Wigan, Salford, Trafford and the City of Manchester. The services aim to provide recovery focused care and treatment for people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, severe affective disorders or complex personality disorders within the community. This inspection looked at services in Central West, Central East and South Mersey teams.
This unannounced focused inspection was carried out following information of concern about the safety and quality of the service, and to follow up on the previous inspection where CQC rated safety as inadequate. Inspectors looked at the areas of safe and responsive only.
Following the latest inspection, the rating for safe remained as inadequate, and responsive remained as requires improvement. Due to concerns found around patient safety, CQC issued the trust with a warning notice to focus the trust’s attention on rapidly making the necessary improvements to keep people safe.
Karen Knapton, CQC deputy director of operations in the North, said:
“When we inspected the community-based mental health services, we found staff were passionate about their work, but it was disappointing to find safety concerns still needed addressing across the service.
“Understaffing was a big concern, and while many NHS services and those in the wider care sector face staffing challenges, the trust must find ways to minimise the risk this poses to people in its care. Many staff told us they felt they were operating at unsafe levels which had a negative impact on people’s care and safety.
“Routine appointments were often postponed as staff prioritised crisis interventions, and staff reported that high vacancy rates made it difficult to respond to people’s needs.
“The service was unable to run its physical health clinic as no staff were available to run it, meaning people had delayed care or were redirected to their GP for the checks they would have had there.
“We continue to monitor the service closely and have carried out a recent inspection to check that the necessary improvements have been made to keep people safe. These inspection findings will be published in a report in due course”.
Inspectors found the following during this inspection:
- Staff felt respected and supported in their teams.
- Not everyone using the service had up to date care plans and risk assessments. This meant that any new issues were not being identified or monitored.
- Not all areas were clean and there was no system or audit in place to oversee this.
- The telephone system was not designed in a way that made it easy for people to get through to the service.
- Not all teams were adequately equipped to safely deliver physical health care.
- There was no system in place for the storage and administration of medication.
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Source: CQC, 9th March 2023