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The Priory Hospital North London Good

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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 21 October 2010
Date of Publication: 21 December 2010
Inspection Report published 21 December 2010 PDF

People should get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights (outcome 4)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Experience effective, safe and appropriate care, treatment and support that meets their needs and protects their rights.

How this check was done

Our judgement

Patients were positive about the therapy they received at the hospital and described a wide range of therapeutic groups and activities as well as individual therapy taking place. On the adolescent ward the young people were provided with educational activities and support to maintain contact with their schools and continue their school work. A new programme of groups and activities had been introduced in the week of our visit and this had been well received and seen as a big improvement. Patients generally receive care and treatment that meets their needs.

User experience

We visited two wards in the hospital, the adult ward and the adolescent ward. On the adolescent ward we spoke to three young people who had been admitted. They all described a range of therapies and activities that they took part in on a regular basis. One said they had found the therapy ‘very helpful’ and commented that ‘staff don’t push too much and also don’t let me sit back either’. They said that therapy had helped them to express their feelings more and they liked the support they got from other young people. One said ‘it feels like being part of a family’. All three young people said they particularly enjoyed ward outings and described an outing the previous evening when a group of patients had gone bowling followed by a visit to a fast food restaurant. They had been given the choice of going to the cinema or going bowling. They also explained that they go for a walk everyday in the grounds of the hospital and visit an adolescent equipped gym twice during the week and recently those young people who remain in hospital at the weekend have also started going to the gym on Saturday. There was a television and DVD player in the lounge and we saw a number of board games and puzzles available for recreation.

All of the young people had an allocated therapist and received individual therapy either twice or three times a week. The young people told us that there is a community meeting every morning and all the young people and staff attend. This is an opportunity for the young people to set individual goals for the day and as one said ‘discuss things with the staff and other patients’. Each young person is given a goals sheet to complete and every evening there is a review meeting with staff to discuss how the day went. Education is provided every week day until 5pm. One young person we spoke to said they sometimes went to education but ‘I actually see my therapy as work and the main reason I am in hospital’. The two other young people said they went to the education room in the morning and afternoon and that the ward teacher could ‘sort things out with school’ so that work could be sent to them via email. We saw the education room which had about ten computers and four young people were working at a computer when we went in. The teacher explained that he liaised with each young person’s school for individual work which he then tried to support them with. He said it was easier to give support to core subjects such as Maths and English.

The more negative comments we received from the young people included ‘we don’t get talked to enough’ by staff and some staff interact with the young people whilst others do not. One young person said that they sometimes found it hard to approach staff directly and would like staff to take the initiative more in approaching them. Another said they had been in hospital for a number of weeks but did not know who their primary nurse was and had not seen a care plan. Two of the young people thought that staff could be more alert to what was going on in the ward and commented that some staff did not respond when young people appeared distressed.

We spoke to two patients on the adult ward and one told us that ‘staff are responsive’ and ‘it is like a hotel here.’ They also said they had regular sessions with a psychologist. Another patient said that staff ‘are knowledgeable and capable’ and also that ‘there are loads of activities’ including meditation and playing board games such as scrabble.

Other evidence

A senior manager at the hospital explained to us that a new programme of daily activities on the adolescent ward had been created and that this had started on Monday 18 October. All the young people we spoke to said they thought the new programme of activities was a big improvement. The programme was displayed on the wall in the ward. This showed a range of groups taking place throughout the week, including Saturday and Sunday. Examples of activities scheduled to take place included drama therapy, healthy emotions and “Beating the Blues” group. On the day of our visit we observed staff encouraging the young people to attend an anger management group which took place in a closed room on the ward.

A therapist working on the adolescent ward described several therapeutic groups which she ran including health promotion groups, lunch clubs and activities for those considered too unwell to join ward outings.

We were shown a draft copy of the Adolescent Unit Rules which outlined the behaviour expected of young people on the ward. We were told by the Medical Director that these were new. The rules state that visiting hours are from 4.30 – 8.30pm Monday to Friday and 10.45am – 8.30pm at weekends. One young person told us that their mother was due to visit that evening and take them out.

A staff member told us that on the addictions ward there is meditation every morning which is followed by group therapy. Most patients on the adult ward can go out if they are well enough and often families take them out. She also explained that those patients involved in the substance misuse programme cannot leave the hospital during treatment.