The score given to mental health services for children and adolescents has reduced from being outstanding to barely functional; this followed an inspection carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC)in February and March in UK.
Upon inquiry, Inspectors found out that staff had not assessed any connecting risks, No plans were put in place to manage risks, and they couldn’t cater for young people who in danger of harming themselves.
Dr. Nigel Acheson, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “While I am happy the trust is making reasonable progress in addressing our concerns from our inspection in 2015, there is still a lot to be done.
“At the time of the inspection, it was made clear the risks created by the lack of staffing and the issues within the child and adolescent mental health services do need to be addressed quickly.
“The leadership team knows what it needs to do to address the challenges they face, and of course, there are priorities.
“This means that the capacity to address all the challenges adequately is a concern, but still, these issues do need to be addressed.”
The CQC gave the trust an overall rating of ‘room for improvement.’
It has been told to improve its safety, responsiveness, and leadership, while it received excellent ratings for being caring and competent.
In urgent and medical care, patients could not always access care where they needed it, and there was a lack of staff with the right qualifications.
Inspectors found significant improvements in medical care, although patients were not always receiving the right medication at the correct dose and time and there was not still enough staff, and surgery services were rated as ‘good.’
Mr. Acheson said: “It is well known Weston Area Health has faced its challenges over recent years
He added: “We will continue to check the trust’s performance and will return to report on further improvements in due course.”
Weston Area Health Trust’s response to the report
The trust praised its dedicated staff after CQC inspectors recognized improvements made since the previous inspection.
The inspection found staff cared for patients with compassion, dignity, and respect and involved them in decisions about their care and treatment.
Of the 44 indicators which make up the trust’s overall rating, 27 are rated as ‘good,’ and one is ‘outstanding.
WAHT’s overall rating for whether services are effective has improved to ‘good,’ and the trust has retained its overall rating of ‘good’ for patient care.
James Rimmer, WAHT chief executive, said: “We are pleased that, thanks to our hardworking and dedicated staff, the inspectors have recognized we are on a journey of improvement and have made definite progress since their last inspection.
“However, we fully accept there are areas in which we need to improve further.
“Work to address the issues identified, particularly concerning our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has already been undertaken. “Robust risk assessments have been carried out, and actions identified have been completed.
“As with CAMHS across the country, high levels of demand and difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff mean we cannot always see people as quickly as we would like.
“We would like to apologize to our patients and their families for any distress that this may have caused.
“We have now made progress in recruiting more staff into our service, and we have already seen a reduction in our waiting list.”
The CQC found that despite the challenges the trust faces, patient care is not being compromised and there is a clear focus on safety.
Peter Collins, WAHT medical director, said: “Our priority is providing safe and high-quality care to those who need our services.