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“Safe” staffing on mental health wards

5 Feb

Some thoughts on “safe” staffing and what this mean on psychiatric inpatient wards.

 

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The Francis report into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust enquiry

6 Feb

Stafford general hospital

Today, Richard Francis QC (pictured below right) published his second and final report on the Stafford Hospital enquiry. Between 400 and 1,200 patients are believed to have died between January 2005 and March 2009 as a result of poor care caused by systemic failure. Here you’ll find resources related to the report – the background, recommendations & reactions – which I’ll update as I come across them or as people send them to me to be added.

I put these resources together to I can try to keep up with an important breaking news story, especially a long running one where I don’t know all the background. Hopefully it’s helpful to others too.

As Sue Bailey, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said earlier:

“Although today’s report focuses on care of patients in the acute sector, its findings and recommendations are just as important for mental health patients.”

Lessons to be learned from the terrible failings at Stafford hospital are equally applicable to psychiatric hospitals. Hopefully that will lead to improvements in mental health care too. A focus on care, patient satisfaction and outcomes rather than processes has to be a better way.Robert Francis QC

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 .web links 5

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Summaries & overviews:

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The Francis report (the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry):

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Patient organisations and campaigners:

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Healthcare organisations:

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Politicians:

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Other organisations, commentators & blogs:

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Press and media coverage:

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Mental health organisations:

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Monitoring the Mental Health Act: the CQC’s annual report

30 Jan

Care Quality Commission logo

Today, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published its annual review for 2011/2012 of its monitoring of the Mental Health Act. The Mental Health Act covers powers to detain people against their will in psychiatric hospitals, to treat people compulsorily outside hospital and the treatment of people on psychiatric wards voluntarily. CQC inspectors visit hospitals and other venues where the Mental Health Act applies in order to produce these annual reports.CQC infographic

The report covers such areas as:

  • What is the Mental Health Act and how is it used?
  • Are care plans focused on individual needs?
  • Are patients involved their care?
  • Are patients given the opportunity to give consent?
  • Is there a culture of control over patients?

Below are some useful web links from the CQC, mental health charities, the social care sector & the media, together with my Storify of tweets throughout the day using the hashtag #MHAreport, as a helpful one-stop-shop today. If you have any helpful links to add, please tweet me or comment below.

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web links 5

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From the Care Quality Commission:

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Comment from mental health charities:Rethink mental illness logo

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Comment from the social care sector:Community Care logo

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In the press:

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On radio:BBC Radio 5 Live logo

  • Radio 5 Live radio call in: overcrowding on mental health wards puts patients at risk of abuse & neglect, with Victoria Derbyshire (30 January)
  • BBC Radio Norfolk: Chris Goreham at breakfast radio phone-in. Staff are the treatment in mental health services yet 20% cuts planned in Norfolk & Suffolk (from 7 mins 30) (28 January)
  • BBC London: Drivetime with Eddie Nestor. The CQC’s report found overcrowding & containment was prioritised over care (from 16mins) (30 January)

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The accidental Patient Participant Group: GP commissioning and mental health

16 Nov

The notice on the GP surgery noticeboard said:

“Get involved in how we run your surgery. Meet the staff & share your views.”

Turned out to be a meeting to establish a Patient Participation Group which the surgery is required to do by the Care Quality Commission. Who knew? I just wanted to ask them not to leave repeat prescriptions with other patients’ names, addresses & drugs face up on the counter.

At the meeting, I heard about Clinical Commissioning Groups & Patient Participation Groups, services currently provided in the area, future plans and the halving of the public health budget. That overview was a bit too much for my brain. I think for me right now ignorance is bliss. The big picture is kinda scarey.

The smaller picture also gave me pause. Is it really local GPs like those in that small hot room who will be in charge of the NHS budget? They see people on the frontline of primary care every day. But what do they know about management of massive budgets? Inpatient care?

And is this small group of patients, cobbled together from those who spotted a notice on a board, capable of holding the CCG to account?.”Well I think we need more guidance when we’re caring for someone at home who’s dying, on what to do when they stop eating & drinking,” one woman volunteered when asked for comments on services the surgery could offer in future. “You can get sectioned for that,” came the response from a man in the group. “What?” asked the women, concerned. “They’ll section you in a psychiatric hospital if you stop eating and drinking. It’s true.” Guess who was appointed chair of the Patient Participation Group? The guy who helpfully chipped in about sectioning people. Super.

On the plus side, my concern about not leaving confidential patient information in view will be raised at the monthly reception meeting.

Read the Storify story I put together of some thoughts & impressions I tweeted (follwed by others’ responses) after I accidentally found myself at my local surgery’s Patient Participation Group to find out more  …

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PS I recognised the PPG chairman sitting on another table in a cafe this afternoon. I thought about going over and asking him a bit about himself and how he saw his chairmanship of the PPG. And about his comments on sectioning under the Mental Health Act. But by the time I’d just about got up courage, he was leaving and paying.

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