The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has placed Harriet Tubman Hospital, based in Handsworth Wood in Birmingham, into special measures following a CQC inspection. All new admissions have been suspended.
The mental health rehabilitation unit, offering services to women with enduring mental illness, including patients who may be detained under the Mental Health Act, was deemed Inadequate by a team of CQC inspectors for safety, levels of care, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership.
At the time of the inspection it was noted that:
· 4 out of 8 registered nurse posts were vacant, and being covered by agency staff. Temporary staff did not receive a comprehensive induction to ensure they knew how to keep patients safe.
· There was no evidence of discharge planning in any of the patients’ care. One patient had lived there for 15 years. Psychological therapies were not offered to patients to promote their recovery.
· Training was not given in the use of restraint, and organisational guidance was not followed.
· Patients who were not detained under the Mental Health Act were not free to leave when they wanted. The staff failed to recognise that these patients were being deprived of their liberty with no legal safeguards.
Areas for improvement highlighted in their report include:
· Ensuring that the environment is kept safe for staff and patients at all times and promotes respect and dignity and the independence of patients.
· Ensuring that staff receive appropriate training and supervision to ensure that there is always a sufficient number of skilled and experienced staff on duty.
· Developing care plans that support and meet patient needs.
· Staff must receive training in breakaway and de-escalation.
Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (and lead for mental health), Dr Paul Lelliott, said:
"Although Harriet Tubman House is supposed to provide a rehabilitation service, we found that this hospital was failing to protect its patients from the risk of harm.
"Managers were not aware of the regulations they needed to meet to ensure the safety of their patients or to reduce the risks. Staff did not analyse incidents so they could learn from them. Care plans and risk assessments did not show staff how to support patients.
"The hospital environment did not promote patients’ recovery and some staff did not engage with patients in a way which would promote their wellbeing.
"At the time of our inspection we made sure that the provider Options for Care took action to address our immediate concerns. We have placed the hospital into special measures and we now expect Options for Care to meet all the legal requirements which are there to protect people in its care.
“We will return to inspect again within six months, and if we find that there has not been sufficient progress, we will take further action on behalf of the patients."