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HPFT services rated Good by Care Quality Commission

26 May 23

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have today 26 May 2023 published reports about two inpatient units within Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT).  The reports for Oak Ward and Warren Court have rated services as Good following the inspections which took place six months ago, in autumn 2022.  The reports highlight the positive work of the staff at the units and identify a number of areas of good practice.  Both units have improvement plans in place and the Trust is confident that these address the concerns raised.

Oak Ward - male psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU), near Radlett, Hertfordshire

Following the inspection in October 2022, the ward retained its overall rating of Good, being rated Good in the four CQC key domains of Effective, Caring, Responsive and Well-Led. It was rated Requires Improvement for Safe.

The inspectors’ observed staff were respectful and responsive when caring for service users.  They saw appropriate levels of staff on the ward, and they observed many positive interactions between staff and service users.  The ward layout was considered to be safe, and risks were well managed.

However, inspectors noted the levels of staff turnover and staff not always being given the recommended time to have a break when undertaking observations.

Warren Court - Medium Secure Unit (MSU) for men with a learning disability, additional mental health needs and a history of offending, sited in in Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire

Following the inspection of Warren Court which took place in November 2022, the units was rated overall as Good, with rating as Good for Caring and Well-Led and Requires Improvement for the Safe domain. The CQC did not review the key domains of Effective or Responsive, which remain as Good.

Inspectors observed staff to be kind, caring and respected service users’ dignity.  Staff understood their roles and responsibilities and Team Leaders and clinical managers were visible and supported staff.  Alongside this service users’ care plans and risk assessments were regularly updated.

At the time of the inspection concerns were raised including one of the houses on the unit requiring redecoration and there needed to be a more consistent approach to engaging service users in meaningful activities.

As highlighted above the Trust has already taken action to respond to the concerns raised and improvement plans have been in place since the autumn.  The actions include:

  • Focused recruitment to vacant posts that now sees the number of vacancies on the wards at an all time low with further recruitment underway.
  • A comprehensive programme of clinical audits to support learning.
  • Consultation with service users at Warren Court on the plans to update and decorate the environment with a work plan in place to implement agreed changes.
  • An expansion of ward-based activities at Warren Court supported by weekend activity workers.
  • Installation of a Sensory Integration room at Warren Court.

HPFT’s Chief Executive Karen Taylor said:

“I am pleased that the CQC has rated both Warren Court and Oak ward as Good overall. Over the six months since the inspections took place, we have made a number of changes and I am confident that they are making a difference and we have addressed the concerns raised.

I am particularly pleased that the inspectors observed positive areas of practice, including regular safety audits, risks being well managed, staff displaying our values, with positive interactions with service users regularly noted.  We will continue to work closely with service users, their families, carers and the CQC to ensure we keep providing high quality care to our service users.”

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