Care Quality Commission
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CQC welcomes improvements and rates the forensic inpatient or secure wards at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has welcomed significant improvements in the forensic inpatient or secure wards at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust following an inspection in February.

Inspectors carried out an unannounced focused inspection to look at the specific issues raised at a previous inspection in February 2021, when the service was rated as inadequate overall and was issued with warning notices. At this inspection all concerns had either been addressed or in progress.

Following this inspection, the overall rating for forensic inpatient or secure wards has improved from inadequate to good. The rating for being responsive has moved from requires improvement to good and the rating for being well-led has improved from inadequate to good, while safe has improved from inadequate to requires improvement, effective and caring remain as good.

The rating for Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust remains rated as requires improvement overall.

Craig Howarth, CQC’s head of hospital inspections, said:

“The leaders in the forensic inpatients or secure wards at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have worked hard to improve the care and treatment to patients in their care. It is abundantly clear the leadership team has taken our feedback on board and worked hard to address our concerns and have met the requirements of the warning notices we issued following the last inspection.

“Previously CQC did have a number of concerns, especially with risks to patient safety, staff engagement and the leadership of the service. However, the new management team have made significant improvements and we feel assured that these have been thoroughly embedded. Systems are now in place to ensure that staff feel motivated to develop their skills and improve the care they deliver. Staff were also very keen to tell us that leaders and managers had supported them at difficult times and that they felt proud about working at the trust.

“The service has come a long way and staff and the leadership team deserve to be congratulated for the hard work they have put in to turn the service around. We will return in due course to see what further improvements have taken place.”

Inspectors found the following:

  • Staff knew about any potential ligature anchor points and managed any risks to keep patients safe. This included having easy access to a ward ligature hot spot map and documents relating to patients’ access arrangements.
  • Patients and carers said they felt staff respected them and understood their needs. Staff treated people well and behaved kindly and inspectors saw many professional and positive interactions between staff and patients while we were on the wards.
  • Staff supported patients to have access to opportunities for education and work. Where patients risk assessment did not allow them to go off site staff tried to replicate education and work opportunities on the hospital site.
  • Staff helped patients to stay in contact with families and carers including during the COVID-19 lockdown.
  • Staffing levels had improved by introducing safer staffing initiatives. Including an extensive program of measures around governance and safer staffing of wards. This gave senior managers responsibility to work together for ensuring wards were safely staffed across each site.

Full details of the inspection are given in the report published on our website.

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