Mental Health Services Across Dudley And Walsall Must Improve

The mental health watchdog has ruled that The Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust ‘requires improvement’ following an assessment of the three hospitals it runs.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found a review of patient safety was of a ‘poor standard’ and said care plans were not always ‘holistic, person centred or recovery focused’. The regulator said the safety of some staff and patients was ‘compromised’ as there were not alarm systems in place in all areas. The Beeches Day Hospital in Walsall did not have an operational alarm system at all at the time of inspection, it was said.

Inspectors also reported ‘inconsistencies’ in informal patients being able to leave wards, as is their right. The trust employs more than 1,000 people across 29 sites and runs three main units in the two boroughs; Bloxwich Hospital, Bushey Fields Hospital in Dudley and Dorothy Pattison Hospital in Walsall. While the trust was told services must improve overall, the CQC described day-to-day practice as caring, responsive and well-led.

Following the publication of the report, bosses at the trust vowed to improve areas where they were deemed to be not doing enough. But the trust also pointed to the many positive aspects of the report, including high morale among staff and a ‘clear vision and set of values’ which put patient safety as its top priority.

Acting chief executive Mark Axcell said: “We welcome the feedback from the CQC and although we are disappointed with the final rating the report highlights many areas of good practice and includes some positive feedback from inspectors, staff, patients, carers and stakeholders.

“Quality and safety remains our top priority and we have already taken action to address some of the points raised. We will continue to work with our staff, patients, carers and stakeholders to provide the best mental health services to the communities of Dudley and Walsall.”


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