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Improvements still needed at Midlands NHS Trust's mental health facilities in Stafford and Shrewsbury

Improvements still need to be made at psychiatric intensive care units run by Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.

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St George's Hospital, Stafford

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the acute wards for adults of working age and psychiatric intensive care units at St George’s Hospital, Stafford and The Redwoods Centre, Shrewsbury.

The inspection assessed improvements made following the previous inspection last year and if the trust had met the requirements of the warning notice previously issued.

The June CQC inspection found the trust had met the requirements of the previous warning notice but found additional concerns.

As this was a focused inspection looking at the areas of safe and well led, both services were not re-rated and remain rated as inadequate overall and for being safe and well-led.

Andy Brand, CQC deputy director of operations in the Midlands, said: “Although it was encouraging to see that leaders and staff had worked hard to address the issues highlighted during our previous inspection, it was also disappointing to find additional areas where improvements need to be made.

“One of the key areas of concern during our last inspection was around people’s sexual safety. During our most recent inspection we found that the services had worked hard to put systems in place to help prevent risks to people, including increased monitoring and observations. However, we weren’t assured staff were recording and reporting all safety incidents which could put people at risk of harm.

“Another area we were concerned about following our previous inspection was around people being allowed to go on leave from the ward even though there had been a number of serious incidents when people had previously gone out into the community.

"Staff informed us improvements have been made and they now carry out thorough checks including, assessing peoples’ mental states. It was positive to see that this process was now embedded as a routine practice."

He added: “We’ve reported our findings to the provider, and they know what they must address and the areas in which they’ve improved. We’re working closely with the trust to ensure people are receiving safe care and we will return to inspect the trust to make sure more improvements have been made.”

Neil Carr, Chief Executive of Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed the inspection's findings.

He said: “I am pleased that the CQC has recognised the significant progress made within the service since it last visited in November 2022, which has resulted in the warning notices being lifted. These improvements are thanks to the continued hard work and dedication of staff within the service, and the positive ways in which they have responded to what was a hugely disappointing set of findings for us all."

He added: “Whilst recognising the important strides forward we’ve made, we know there is still more to be done. We note the CQC’s additional areas for improvement and we remain committed to learning and improving. As such, we have already extended our action plan to incorporate the report’s additional findings and will work proactively with the CQC to ensure further improvements are made quickly and effectively.”