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Mental Health Unit, Lincoln County Hospital Site

All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 24 July 2012
Date of Publication: 15 August 2012
Inspection Report published 15 August 2012 PDF

People should be treated with respect, involved in discussions about their care and treatment and able to influence how the service is run (outcome 1)

Not met this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Understand the care, treatment and support choices available to them.
  • Can express their views, so far as they are able to do so, and are involved in making decisions about their care, treatment and support.
  • Have their privacy, dignity and independence respected.
  • Have their views and experiences taken into account in the way the service is provided and delivered.

How this check was done

Our judgement

The provider was not fully meeting this standard.

Patients were supported to make choices and decisions about their lifestyles, and they were treated with dignity and respect. However, in Peter Hodgkinson Centre their privacy was compromised by the lack of appropriate patient telephone facilities.

User experience

We spoke to a number of patients within both units. They told us that staff respected them and upheld their rights whether they were or were not detained under the Mental Health Act, 1983.

They said things like, “They (staff) tell me about my rights and I know I’ve got a care plan but I don’t want to get involved”, “They (staff) give you space when you need it and respect your privacy”, “I do my own religion and staff respect that”, “(I) feel listened to and respected by staff” and “They (staff) respect your views and are really on the ball.”

We did not receive any negative comments from patients about this outcome area.

In both units we saw that staff spoke with patients in a respectful manner, using their preferred names and offering them choices for things like activities and meals. Staff made time to listen to patients who had issues to discuss and offered them private space for discussions. We saw staff supporting patients to make decisions about their care and daily lives, and to be involved in regular meetings with their doctors and other professionals.

Other evidence

We looked at a range of patient records across both units. In both units, staff had recorded when they had reminded patients of their rights. We saw that this was done on a regular basis, and in line with the requirements of the Mental Health Act, 1983.

In Francis Willis Unit paper records were still in use and we saw that patients had signed their care plans where they were able and wished to, to show that they had been involved.

In Peter Hodgkinson Centre we saw that records had been transferred to a secure, computerised system. Some information such as records to show patients had been informed of their rights, were still in a paper format. Care plans however, were all within the computerised system. Staff told us that patients were given a printed copy of the care plans. However there was no clear record to show that patients had been involved in the planning and development of those plans, or that they had received a copy.

In both units we saw records to show that patients who were detained under a section of the Mental Health Act, 1983 had signed consent to treatment forms.

The provider may find it useful to note that where computer records are being used, there should be a system in place to demonstrate the involvement of patients in their care planning.

We saw that staff respected privacy by, for example, knocking on doors before entering. Staff told us how they ensured patients privacy and dignity was respected, especially when the patient was receiving a high level of observation. For example, one staff member told us about how they risk assessed for privacy when a patient was bathing.

There was lots of information around in both units to help patients understand their rights and know where to get help. For example we saw there were leaflets about advocacy services, how to make a complaint, where to get support with housing issues, and how to contact independent mental health advocates. The manager of Peter Hodgkinson Centre told us that she had organised a regular group on the wards for patients to get help with housing issues.

We saw that the staff had taken appropriate action to try to engage with a patient whose first language was not English. Records showed that interpreting services had been used to enable the patient’s views and decisions to be heard. Staff also told us how they used the internet to interpret some words when interpreter staff were not present, and how they used basic signs and pictures to convey information.

In Peter Hodgkinson Centre we saw that patients had use of public telephones. However the telephones were located near to the entrance to one ward, and in a busy corridor of another. There was no privacy screening on either telephone, and patients conversations could be clearly heard by anyone passing. Staff told us, and we saw, that they offered patients the use of the wards portable telephone when they wanted to make personal and private calls. However this had an impact on staff being able to make and receive calls in relation to the daily management of the unit. We had spoken to the provider about this issue when we last visited in December 2010, and they said then that they would take action to address the issue.