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Safety procedures at mental health units in Brent ‘requires improvement’

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 January 2017

The Care Quality Commission rated mental health units in Park Royal and Northwick Park Hospital

The Care Quality Commission rated mental health units in Park Royal and Northwick Park Hospital

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A mental health centre in Brent has been slammed by a health watchdog for restraining its patients too much and failing to keep proper records on incidents.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the safety procedures at Park Royal Mental Health Centre in Central Way, as ‘requires improvement’ following a spot check inspection.

In a report published this week it gave the centre an overall rating of good but criticised the high incidents of restraining patients and also of secluding them in four wards.

The inspections also revealed that there was a flaw in how restraint incidents were recorded as some information regarding the name or number of the staff involved were not noted.

The inspection also included Northwick Park Mental Health Centre in Watford Road, Sudbury.

Both centres are managed by the Central and North West London (CNWL).

Inspectors scrutinised five key elements of the service to working age adults and psychiatric intensive care units noting whether they were safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led.

The Fernely ward in Northwick Park was also pointed out for its high restraining practices.

The inspections were part of a wider programme which saw the CQC speak to 123 staff across six hospitals, 89 patients, six managers, a carer and five advocates.

They also looked at 220 patient records and carried out medication checks on four wards.

On the whole the trust was given a ‘good’ rating.

Andy Mattin, CNWL’s director of nursing, said: “We are very clear about the need to minimise restraint.

“We have improved, as the CQC say, but I accept we need to do more. We’re looking at why some wards have a higher number than others; some have more patients who can be very disturbed indeed; especially whilst their medication reaches therapeutic levels.

“Physical restraint is sometimes necessary when people are a risk to other people or more often themselves. Prone restraint is usually to administer rapid tranquilisation as an injection; we’ve developed an alternative that’s awaiting approval.

Staff are trained in ethical procedures and we have no tolerance for anyone who departs from them.”

Claire Murdoch, chief executive of CNWL, added: “The best organisations are open about negatives as well as positives; showing good practice as well as solutions to problems.

“Demand for these services is very high and treatments are good. We accept there is more to do but this report shows we’re doing it.”

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