Dis the CQC: EDP: Staff members suspended, police called, and patients left unsupervised at private mental health hospital inspectors could close down in six months

Geraldine Scott of the Eastern Daily Press reports:

Inspectors found the hospital was unsafe and poorly led, and chief inspector of hospitals Professor Edward Baker said the CQC was beginning “the process of preventing the provider from operating the service”. This means if in six months things have not improved, the CQC will shut the hospital down.

The region’s mental health trust has spent millions sending patients to Mundesley Hospital since it opened.

From April 2016 to August 2017, 7,278 days were spent at Mundesley by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) patients. That was compared to 4,402 bed days spent out of the area.

In total £5.6m has been spent sending patients both out of the area and to Mundesley since April last year.

Jane Sayer, director of nursing, quality and patient safety, said she had been reassured their patients were not at risk and improvements suggested by the CQC were in hand.

Jane Sayer is, we suspect, the soon to ‘retire’ Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT). NSFT’s own CQC inspection report is imminent.

This is the third inadequate inspection in a row for Mundesley Hospital from the CQC. The CQC assesses patient safety as inadequate and the report and EDP details shocking failures.

These failures aren’t a surprise: NSFT’s senior management team has been providing free advice to the private Mundesley Hospital on how to improve its services. Perhaps Mundesley Hospital should have paid for people who know what they are doing?

She said: “If any concerns about patient care were to be raised we would act quickly and decisively to investigate and to gain assurances that our patients are safe and that appropriate action was being taken.

What is the CQC doing then, if it isn’t raising concerns when rating hospitals as inadequate?

Most trusts simply make sure they have enough beds.

Most trusts wouldn’t send their patients to a hospital which has been rated inadequate by the CQC in all three of its inspections.

“If we ever believed that this was not the case, we would make alternative arrangements for our patients’ care.

Why isn’t NSFT caring for its own patients rather than outsourcing responsibility to an inadequately-rated private hospital?

Is it because the Board of NSFT is too lazy to do the work?

Is it because it is easier for the Board of Shame to outsource its hard work to an inadequate supplier with a blank cheque from the taxpayer?

We closely and continually monitor the standards of care at the hospital – as with all other providers’ we use – with regular visits by senior Trust staff.

That’s done Mundesley Hospital a lot of good, hasn’t it?

It wasn’t NSFT’s so-called monitoring that raised concerns about Mundesley Hospital with the CQC. It was our campaign.

Did NSFT raise concerns with the CQC about Mundesley Hospital? Not as far as we are aware.

When we raised concerns about the continued use of Mundesley Hospital at Norfolk County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Michael Scott ignored us and failed to respond. Sadly for him, the CQC were observing in the audience.

Patient review meetings are held twice a week to ensure that each of our patients is receiving appropriate standards of care.”

That’s not the feedback we have received from campaign members who have been in Mundesley Hospital.

But when asked whether sending patients to Mundesley could be justified, Ms Sayer said it was normal for NHS providers to utilise other services when demand varied.

No, most decent NHS trusts have enough beds for their patients and don’t use inadequate providers.

She added: “Our trust makes use of beds at Mundesley Hospital on a flexible basis, when our own beds are at maximum capacity.

NSFT’s beds are full all the time. As are Mundesley’s beds. With NSFT patients.

This is to ensure that those people who are so unwell that a hospital admission is necessary, can receive inpatient care as close to home as possible, and to avoid sending them out of our local area.”

Or, to put it another way, to massage down the out of area beds figures.

And, because, unsurprisingly given its remote location and inadequate rating, another attraction for commissioners and NSFT is that Mundesley Hospital is much cheaper than most other private hospitals. Cheap for a reason.

Nearly every carer and service user we’ve spoken to wants to be treated close to home in an NHS hospital. But they are equally clear they would far rather travel for decent treatment than be dumped in an inadequate hospital.

Is discrimination at work? Would commissioners be happy with physical health patients being treated in a three-times-rated-inadequate hospital? We don’t think so.

Click on the image below to read the article in full on the EDP website:


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