Priory Hospital in Burgess Hill rated ‘good’ by health bosses

Priory Hospital in Burgess Hill has been again rated as ‘good’ by inspectors who visited after concerns were raised about patient safety.

The hospital, which provides acute and psychiatric intensive care units, as well as services for people with mental health needs was inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on August 11, and received an overall ‘good’ rating in a report, published on October 22.

The unannounced inspection was carried out due to concerns raised with the CQC, the report said.

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A CQC spokesman said: “We focussed on areas of the key question of ‘safe’.

Priory Hospital in Burgess Hill. Picture: Google Street View

“During the inspection we identified concerns which required us to take enforcement action. Due to this we provided a new rating for ‘safe’ of ‘requires improvement’. However, our overall rating of this service stayed the same.”

The CQC report said patients at the hospital in Gatehouse Lane described staff as ‘kind, supportive and respectful’.

It added: “Patients felt that care was person-centred and said they were always treated with respect by all members of the multidisciplinary team

“Patients received regular physical health checks and were able to access a range of specialists when needed.

“This included access to an annual dental review and other national screening programmes.”

The CQC report said the ward environments were clean and well maintained. Staff observed the environment and cameras and mirrors had been installed to reduce the risk blind spots posed, it added.

Staff also worked towards providing the least restrictive environment possible in order to safely facilitate patients’ recovery.

The CQC report said since November 2019, it had received eight notifications of incidents where staff assigned to observe individual patients had fallen asleep while on duty.

It added: “We were also told that, in separate incidents, patients had self-harmed using items present within the ward environment.

“For example, between March and July 2020 five incidents occurred where patients swallowed batteries. We also identified three incidents which raised concerns about the competence of staff administering medicines.

“A whistle-blower and a member of the public also contacted us to share concerns about the management of a distressed patient and the actions taken by the hospital following a related incident.”