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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

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 provider was meeting this standard.

There were enough qualified, skilled and experienced staff to meet people’s needs.

User experience

We spoke with a number of patients in both units. They made comments such as “There’s plenty of staff around”, “I get my 1:1 when I want it” and “Staff are always available for me.”

Other evidence

We looked at the staff working rotas on both units for the previous two weeks. They showed us that there were a mixture of qualified nurses and health care support workers on each shift. There was also an activity co-ordinator and some occupation therapy staff available during the day times, including weekends. Rotas showed that ward managers were available during office hours. However we saw that they worked shifts when there was a shortage of qualified staff.

Staff told us that the numbers of staff employed on each ward were sufficient to meet patient needs. They said that sickness levels were the only thing that impacted on staff numbers, but they had a ‘bank’ nurse system to use when they needed extra cover. They told us that they rarely had to use agency staff which meant that patients had access to experienced staff who knew them. Staff in both units said that they had not worked with insufficient staffing levels for a long time.

During a shift handover period in Peter Hodgkinson Centre we saw that whilst qualified nurses carried out the handover process and medication rounds, healthcare support workers and activity co-ordinators were supporting patients with general activities and individual support sessions. We saw that patients in Peter Hodgkinson Centre were supported to leave the ward for cigarette breaks whenever they requested.

Throughout the visit staff demonstrated a clear understanding of patients needs. For example, we saw staff using different methods to reduce patients anxieties such as diversion or talking therapies, dependent upon their known needs. We also saw staff at shift handover discussing potential outcomes of specific actions for individual patients, based on knowledge of their needs. We were told that patients were now included in interviews for new staff in Peter Hodgkinson Centre, so that they were able to give their opinions on the quality of the staff being employed.

Staff in both units told us that they had a good induction to the units they worked in. They said that there was a good on-going training programme that kept them up to date with good practice.