Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Nottinghamshire NHS Trust ‘truly sorry’ after inspection finds patients at risk

Nottinghamshire mental health patients and the public are being put at risk by the difficulty in getting the right care, a review ordered following Valdo Calocane’s conviction has found.

Watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) looked into Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs services for some of the county’s most vulnerable patients.

A report published on Tuesday (March 26) says inspectors found patients and the public weren’t always being kept safe.

The trust has apologised, saying it is “truly sorry” for letting patients and their families down.

Rampton Hospital, a secure Nottinghamshire psychiatric hospital run by the trust, was improving but not quickly enough, the report also found.

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Valdo Calocane fatally stabbed students Barnaby Webber and Grace O’Malley-Kumar, both 19, and 65-year-old school caretaker Ian Coates, in Nottingham on 13, June 2023.

Prosecutors accepted manslaughter by diminished responsibility pleas rather than pursue a murder case. A court was told he had been suffering from severe mental health problems at the time, including paranoid schizophrenia, and had been in the care of the trust in the past.

The Secretary of State for Health ordered a rapid review into mental health services in the county after the case.

A third part of the review, specifically focusing on the care available to Valdo Calocane, will be published in the summer.

The CQC’s inspection criticised access to mental health care under NHS Nottinghamshire, with high demand, long waiting lists, lack of inpatient beds and difficulty accessing crisis care.

Patients weren’t always being kept safe due to staffing problems and inconsistent risk assessments, the report said.

The CQC expressed concerns that people might hurt themselves or others while waiting for care.

It added that while staff were kind and caring, not all of patients’ care met their needs and planning was often patchy.

The trust’s leaders were trying to fix the problems, but this was taking too long.

The trust’s overall rating is suspended while the full review is completed.

Rampton Hospital, which has been rated ‘requires improvement’ or lower for the last five years, was getting better at keeping people safe.

However, there were still key areas of concern, including poor communication between staff and patients, the prescribing of medicines and staffing levels.

Inspectors recommended that Rampton Hospital be re-licensed for 12 months rather than the full five years.

The report recommends that the trust focus on providing safe treatment, and ensure there are clear pathways for people in need to get care.

It also suggests that Rampton Hospital is partnered with another secure hospital as a ‘critical friend’ to speed its improvements.

Ifti Majid, Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire Healthcare said: “We are committed to providing high quality, effective and safe care to those people who need it most, and that is why this report makes difficult reading because it is clear that sometimes we have let down patients and their families and for this, we are truly sorry.

“External inspections are an important way of helping us learn and make the improvements that are needed.  We didn’t wait for the special review or the report to begin making our improvements to staff and safety and developing much more of a learning culture across our services.

“We deliver care and treatment to tens of thousands of people at any one time and the vast majority of our 10,000 colleagues are providing care in a kind and compassionate way, often in challenging circumstances.

“We welcome the additional support that we are now receiving as part of the national Recovery Support Programme, including the support of our improvement director.

“We are currently developing our integrated improvement plan and we will ensure that every recommendation within the CQC’s rapid review report is implemented so that those who use our services receive the high-quality care they deserve.”

• Rampton | CQC special review into Nottinghamshire mental health services released

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