CQC rating at Haywards Heath child and adolescent mental health ward drops from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’
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Chalkhill is 16-bed mixed gender inpatient unit where youths aged 12 to 17 are admitted if they require assessment and treatment for acute mental health needs or support for eating disorders. People can read the full report at www.cqc.org.uk.
A Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said the team is ‘determined to do better’.
Neil Cox, CQC deputy director of operations in the south, said: “When we inspected Chalkhill we found a decline in the quality of leadership at the service, which was having an impact on the level of care being provided to the young people using this service. It was incredibly concerning some young people had come to harm, and others had been put at risk, because leaders had poor oversight, and didn’t always have good enough systems in place to keep them safe.
“Leaders didn’t always manage risks well, and they didn’t learn from incidents when things went wrong, to stop them from happening again. Also, despite the trust having an action plan in place, we didn’t feel assured those improvements were happening quick enough.”
Mr Cox said there were ‘signs of a closed culture’ at the service where the trust did not do everything it could to be open and transparent.
He said: “Young people told us they didn’t always feel safe or supported to raise concerns. Staff confirmed this, as well as telling us the impact this had on their morale as a result.”
But Mr Cox added: “We have also seen more recent positive changes to the management of the service. They know where they need to improve and we’ll return to check on their progress.”
Dr Jane Padmore, chief executive officer, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am very disappointed that the Care Quality Commission assessed we were not providing the quality service that children, young people and families rightly expect from us at Chalkhill.
She said: “As a team, we are determined to do better. We took immediate steps to act upon the CQC’s feedback and I'm confident we are making progress. This includes strengthening security and safety, our reporting and management processes and staff training.
“I want to assure the children, young people and families who need our services that we are committed to providing high quality care and treatment. A vital part of achieving this involves listening to, learning from and acting in response to feedback from the people who use our services, our regulators and staff.”
The CQC said it carried out the inspection because its had received concerns about the safety and wellbeing of young people using the service and high levels of incidents leading to harm, as well as other issues. The ward has now been given a warning notice so it can make ‘rapid and widespread improvements regarding good governance’.
The CQC said the overall rating for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust remains ‘good’.