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Archived: Sevenacres (Inpatient Wards)

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All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 23 March 2011
Date of Publication: 24 May 2011
Inspection Report published 24 May 2011 PDF

There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs (outcome 13)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are safe and their health and welfare needs are met by sufficient numbers of appropriate staff.

How this check was done

Our judgement

The Trust is attempting to ensure that there are sufficient staff on duty at all times by moving staff between wards. During discussions with staff they indicated that whilst they were happy to do some extra hours they were beginning to feel that this was expected and that hey were unsure how long they would be willing to do extra shifts for.

Insufficient staff levels especially for nurses trained in mental health will have an impact on the care given to people and they may not have all their needs met.

Overall, we found that Sevenacres was meeting this essential standard but, to maintain this, we have suggested that some improvements are made.

User experience

We spoke to people who told us there was always a member of staff available when they needed help or support. We observed a good response from staff to requests from people using the service during our visit who wanted some help or information.

Other evidence

When the Mental Health Act Commissioners visited Sevenacres in the summer of 2010 they felt that staffing levels were insufficient to manage one ward. The response from the trust stated that there had been an increase from two to three qualified nurses per shift on that ward.

The PCA completed in February 2011 stated that ‘the unit has benchmarked staffing levels against other similar services on the mainland indicating similar levels of staff’. The PCA also stated that ‘the Trust provides a bank agency which can be accessed to cover sickness or emergencies’.

During our visit, staff we spoke to said that generally there were enough staff on duty. They said that there were procedures in place to cover sickness and that bank staff were sometimes used. However, we were told that there is a shortage of registered mental health nurses on the bank staff. One of the wards had been reliant on staff from other wards covering some of the shifts. We were told that new staff had been recruited and were awaiting completion of recruitment checks and their induction period.

Staff told us that each shift is arranged with a skill mix of registered nurses and support workers. At the time of our visit, some staff were covering extra shifts on another ward to help cover staff absences.

We asked senior staff about how they were ensuring that sufficient registered nurses were available. They confirmed that there is a problem recruiting registered mental health nurses and that all bank nurses used are in fact nurses either already work at Sevenacres or elsewhere. We were told that one ward in particular has a high number of qualified nurses on long term sick leave.