Watchdog concern at hospital

Highbury hospital
Highbury hospital

A WATCHDOG has said that a service delivered at Highbury Hospital (pictured) in Bulwell for patients with mental health problems is failing to meet all essential standards of care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an inspection at the long-running hospital on Highbury Road in October.

It focused on its assessment and treatment unit, which cares for up to 11 patients who may also have learning disabilities or problems with alcohol or drugs.

As part of the CQC inspection, staff were observed, patients and visitors interviewed and records checked.

But it was found that patients did not always get appropriate care, partly because care plans did not always cover all of a patient’s assessed needs.

There was also no structured programme in place so patients “had limited opportunity for meaningful activities”.

Two patients said there were not enough activities and another said he was “bored”.

However, in many of the other aspects of the inspection, Highbury was found to be performing well.

During the two-day visit, one patient said staff could tell what they needed without having to ask and that patients were treated with respect.

Others said they felt safe and well looked after, while one declared “the staff are great”.

Inspectors found that there were suitable systems in place at the hospital to protect patients from risk of abuse.

Throughout 2011, the average stay of a patient at Highbury was 54 days, while the longest stay in the same period had been 154 days.

The hospital is run by Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust and its chief executive, Professor Mike Cooke, said: “We take these reports very seriously. The positive feedback is reassuring, but we will be taking immediate steps to address shortcomings identified.”

Highbury and the Trust have now prepared a report on improvements to be made at the hospital and this has been submitted to the CQC.