The use of restrictive practices corresponding to belts and cuffs on young mental health patients at a North East hospital belief has virtually tripled within the final two years, health watchdogs found.
It follows an inspection throughout six baby and adolescent mental health wards over two websites run by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust – the Ferndene inpatient centre, Prudhoe, and the Alnwood unit at St Nicholas Hospital in Gosforth, Newcastle.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited after issues have been raised by a whistle-blower about staffing points, affected person security and the standard of care and remedy provided to patients.
Its report, printed at this time, mentioned inspectors discovered that the wards have been sufficiently staffed by professionals who managed dangers to affected person security successfully.
However, situations of restrictive practices – together with the use of belts and cuffs to restrain patients who have been exhibiting behaviour which endangered themselves and others – had elevated considerably from 84 to 241 since a 2018 CQC report following its earlier inspection of the service.
Dr Kevin Cleary, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, mentioned: “Our inspection discovered that the belief’s baby and adolescent mental health wards had sufficient medical doctors and nurses to offer secure and efficient care.
“However, it was regarding to search out that there was a major improve within the use of restraint of youngsters, which is unacceptable.
“It is the duty of the management within the organisation to make sure that there’s a vital enchancment on this scenario and they should present ongoing proof that the use of restraint is bettering.
“The belief ought to be capable of cut back its use of restraint by making higher use of debriefings following situations the place restrictive practices have been used, to discover different approaches to supporting patients.
“Following the inspection, we reported our findings to the belief. We proceed to watch it carefully to make sure affected person’s obtain secure and efficient care and remedy.”
CQC has informed the belief that it should make one enchancment to adjust to laws:
• Mechanical restraint ought to solely be used as a final resort. Following situations of restraint, there must be a transparent debriefing course of for employees and the one who has been restrained.
John Lawlor, chief government of Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, mentioned: “We welcome the publication of this report by the Care Quality Commission who maintain us to rigorous requirements of affected person care and security.
“We take all issues extraordinarily severely and can now totally evaluation the findings to make sure plans are in place for enchancment. We are dedicated to lowering ranges of restraint.
“As highlighted within the report, our workers routinely assess and handle dangers to patients and try to make use of de-escalation to handle incidents, nonetheless we settle for that the degrees of restraint in our companies are greater than we want.
“Work is beneath manner to make sure that the required enhancements to debrief processes are applied, and we’ve already seen an enchancment.
“We are, nonetheless, happy to notice that the CQC recognises that in lots of respects these companies are delivered to a secure and excessive customary by well-staffed groups.
“Most importantly, the inspection discovered that young individuals in our companies felt secure in our care and have been supported by workers.
“As properly as placing enchancment plans in place we are going to proceed to construct on the continued work to cut back restrictive interventions, specifically our Talk 1st programme, a Trust-wide initiative which goals to lower restraint and aggression on our wards.”