Lancashire TelegraphMental health unit in Blackburn fails to meet essential staffing levels (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Mental health unit in Blackburn fails to meet essential staffing levels

INSPECTORS said a private mental health unit in Blackburn was failing to meet essential levels of staffing after concerns were raised by an anonymous tip-off.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said staff and patients at The Fountains hospital, owned by the Cambian Group, in Pleasington Close had complained of a shortage of nurses, especially at evenings and weekends.

The watchdog started investigating after a probe by Blackburn with Darwen Council upheld allegations about the ‘misuse of medication’ and a ‘medication error’, due to insufficient staffing.

In May, CQC inspectors heard reports that patients’ community leave was often cancelled, while staff said there was ‘absolutely room for increased staffing levels’.

One worker told inspectors: “Some patients need three-to-one escorts and I find it frustrating that they can’t have their leave because there isn’t always enough staff.”

The hospital’s manager said an increase in qualified nurses had been approved, but admitted staffing levels based on patient numbers were not routinely followed, the inspectors’ report added.

Other essential standards were found to be met and the report acknowledged staff had the right knowledge, experience, qualifications and skills to support the patients.

Jeremy Wiles, Group Business Development Director, said: “The Fountains are working collaboratively with the CQC and other agencies.”

Comments (5)

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12:59pm Thu 15 Aug 13

mavrick says...

If a patient needs three escorts to go out Then you have to ask if that patient is safe to be on the streets? Things like this are a drain on the NHS,
If a patient needs three escorts to go out Then you have to ask if that patient is safe to be on the streets? Things like this are a drain on the NHS, mavrick
  • Score: -2

4:21pm Fri 16 Aug 13

lildebs says...

I don't think the MOJ would have approved for the individual to be 'out on the streets' as you put it if he/she was a risk. The person may need additional staffing for a number of reasons ie a learning disability or perhaps a physical one, regardless of why, if it is necessary for the person to have additional stafffing in order to have a quality of life and be a part of society then that's money well spent in my opinion.
Obviously you hve not encountered MH problems or you would not be so quick to be judgemental. Ignorance is nothing to be proud of.
It saddens me that in this day and age we are having to spend money into raising MH awareness instead of putting that money to use where it is most needed...for the people who need the support.
I don't think the MOJ would have approved for the individual to be 'out on the streets' as you put it if he/she was a risk. The person may need additional staffing for a number of reasons ie a learning disability or perhaps a physical one, regardless of why, if it is necessary for the person to have additional stafffing in order to have a quality of life and be a part of society then that's money well spent in my opinion. Obviously you hve not encountered MH problems or you would not be so quick to be judgemental. Ignorance is nothing to be proud of. It saddens me that in this day and age we are having to spend money into raising MH awareness instead of putting that money to use where it is most needed...for the people who need the support. lildebs
  • Score: 2

8:17am Sun 18 Aug 13

dingledanglescarecrow says...

Unfortunately its not just this unit which is understaffed. Take a look at all the services.
Unfortunately its not just this unit which is understaffed. Take a look at all the services. dingledanglescarecrow
  • Score: 1

2:38pm Sun 18 Aug 13

lildebs says...

It's disgraceful...how can you compromise care with peoples lives, how would trust managers like to be told No you can't go out today, the team around an individual is crucial in order to get them on the road to recovery, lack of staffing has a huge impact on the time this takes and setting the service users up for failure..and goes against everything as a Trust they are trying to achieve..
It's disgraceful...how can you compromise care with peoples lives, how would trust managers like to be told No you can't go out today, the team around an individual is crucial in order to get them on the road to recovery, lack of staffing has a huge impact on the time this takes and setting the service users up for failure..and goes against everything as a Trust they are trying to achieve.. lildebs
  • Score: 1

10:13pm Tue 20 Aug 13

andras2712 says...

congratulations to the CQC picking up on this :)
congratulations to the CQC picking up on this :) andras2712
  • Score: 1

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