A mental health clinic in Bromley was destroyed after inspectors discovered staff were not undergoing basic training. Kent House Hospital was told it needed to improve after a critical review by care watchdog the Care Quality Commission.
The independent hospital provides care and treatment for young women and adolescent girls with serious mental disorders and complex behaviors. But inspectors were unhappy with the service and also made several critical comments about hygiene and staffing issues.
The hospital’s safety and training standards have been condemned by the CQC, which is the independent regulator for health and care services in the UK. The report states: “Staff failed to keep up to date with basic training to protect people from preventable harm… Managers failed to ensure that staff received specialist training for their role. .Nursing staff had not received training to work in psychiatric care for children and adolescent health services.”
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He adds, “Staff and young people said staffing was the biggest issue and a huge number of vacancies remained unfilled. to operate the service securely.
“Young people reported that there was no consistency with the staff – especially the night staff changing so often… One member of staff expressed concerns about staffing and said he there weren’t enough nurses and that there was a lot of pressure on nurses and assistants.”
The report later states, “The service failed to deploy enough qualified, skilled, competent and experienced personnel.” The physical examination room at the Orpington-based clinic was also not clean, according to the report. The inspectors wrote: “Staff did not always ensure that the premises were clean. The physical examination room was dirty. For example, the equipment was covered in dust, the staff had not used a clean stickers to show it was clean and the bin was overflowing Staff did not keep a cleaning log to ensure this room was cleaned regularly We immediately spoke to the supplier who said they would would clean up immediately.
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Another issue inspectors spotted was the seclusion rooms, which they said “did not fully comply with the Mental Health Act’s code of practice”. They add that in one of the bedrooms, the bathroom mirror was directly opposite the viewing panel, which meant staff could see if a youngster was sitting on the toilet. It took away “intimacy and dignity” from a youngster, according to the report.
Despite the overall rating of “needs improvement”, the hospital was rated “good” for the quality of its care. Examples cited included improving outdoor areas, with the yard having a gym, basketball court and garden space with plants and flowers. The report also states that “staff ensured that the young people had access to a high quality education throughout their time on the service. The on-site school was registered with Ofsted and classed as” outstanding” when last inspected in June 2021. Staff encouraged young people to attend school, and it was part of their recovery journey.”
A hospital spokesperson said: ‘We are working hard to make the improvements identified by the CQC, and hope to return the site to a ‘good’ rating as soon as possible. Since the inspection, we have improved the compliance of our staff training and have launched an additional education program specifically focused on caring for children and young people with autism.
“We have hired a new occupational therapist who offers a wider range of interventions for the young people in our care. We have also started an upgrade to the physical environment, and this project should be completed in the spring. recruiting challenges identified by inspectors, we review the salaries and benefits we provide to our staff. We also provided additional support to management to improve our governance processes.