A SPECIALIST service for adults with learning disabilities and autism in the Moorlands has been rated 'inadequate' by a senior welfare assessor. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has graded The Woodhouse Independent Hospital on Lockwood Road in Cheadle as inadequate following an inspection of the service between June 18 to June 20 this year. An investigator from the CQC said in a report that “the hospital was not adequately staffed.”
They said: “Nearly 90 per cent of the establishment ward staff posts were unqualified support workers and 40 per cent of posts for both nurses and support workers were vacant.
“As a result, unqualified agency staff covered a high number of shifts. This included most of the night shifts.
“Some of the agency staff were new to the hospital and did not know the patients.
“This meant that the care plans and positive behaviour support plans developed by the specialist staff were not always enacted by the ward-based staff – some of whom told us that they had not read the plans.
“Also, the staffing situation meant that a qualified nurse was not always present in communal areas of the ward, that staff were often unable to take rest breaks or regular breaks from enhanced observations, that escorted leave was often cancelled for patients on general observations and that patients did not have regular one-to-one time with their named nurse.
“Managers did not provide staff with the induction, training, supervision or appraisal that would have mitigated the staff’s lack of qualifications and specialist skills required to provide high quality care to people with such complex needs.
“The service was not well led at ward level and there was a lack of resource at all levels of leadership.
“The governance processes did not operate effectively at ward level meaning that performance and risk were not managed well.
“Clinical and internal audit processes did not have a positive impact on quality governance. There was no structured induction programme for agency staff.
“Staff were not supported through appraisals and regular supervision to enable them to carry out the duties they were employed to perform.
“There were no regular team meetings for staff to discuss clinical concerns and learning as a team with managers.
“The ligature risk assessments lacked clear actions on how the risk was managed.
“There was no emergency drug – adrenaline – available to treat anaphylaxis. The checks were not always reliable and valid.
“However, staff understood how to safeguard patients from abuse and the service worked well with other agencies to do so.
“Staff had training on how to recognise and report abuse, and they knew how to apply it.
“Staff regularly reviewed the effects of medications on each patient’s physical health.
“They knew about and worked towards achieving the aims of the STOMP programme(stop over-medicating people with learning disabilities).
“We observed staff treating patients with compassion and kindness. They respected patients’ privacy and dignity.
“The multidisciplinary team involved patients in care planning and risk assessment and actively sought their feedback on the quality of care provided.
“Staff planned and managed discharge well. Staff helped patients with advocacy, cultural and spiritual support.”
The WoodHouse Independent Hospital is run by Elysium Healthcare (Acorn Care) Limited.
For more information about the report, go online to www.cqc.org.uk.
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