Friday, 31 January 2014

Serious failings at adolescent mental health unit

CQC inspectors, who visited the Alpha Hospitals’ service in Woking in November and December, failed the unit against five of the six care standards it was assessed against. The CQC issued formal warnings to Alpha Hospitals on three of these standards – safeguarding people from abuse, records management and protecting the care and welfare of people.

The CQC’s inspection report raised a number of concerns over the use of restraint and seclusion at the service’s adolescent admission ward. Specific concerns included:
A lack of suitable arrangements for the use of control and restraint. Staff had taken people up and down stairs whilst being restrained, in breach of the Alpha Hospital policy. This meant "people were not safeguarded when restraint and seclusion was used", the CQC found. Inspectors saw records which "showed a lack of response from staff when people became unwell whilst in seclusion".
Patients told inspectors restraint or seclusion were not always used as a last resort. One said that as soon as anything ‘kicked off’ they were restrained or put in seclusion. Another said "seclusion and inter-muscular injections are regularly used as threats".

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