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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 2 February 2012
Date of Publication: 29 February 2012
Inspection Report published 29 February 2012 PDF

People should be cared for in safe and accessible surroundings that support their health and welfare (outcome 10)

Not met this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are in safe, accessible surroundings that promote their wellbeing.

How this check was done

Our judgement

We found that the hospital had a redecoration and refurbishment programme in place to provide a more therapeutic environment for people receiving treatment.

Although people who use the service were generally kept safe through staff intervention and risk management there remained risks to vulnerable people of unprotected high risk ligature points.

We have minor concerns that Mill View Hospital may not be able to sustain compliance in this area and have set a compliance action upon the provider for these areas.

Overall therefore we found that Mill View Hospital had areas of non-compliance with this outcome.

User experience

We did not, on this occasion speak to people so cannot report what the people using the service said.

Other evidence

At our last visit to Mill View Hospital in August 2011, we found that the refurbished areas of the hospital provided a therapeutic environment for people. However the rest of the premises were generally tired and in need of refurbishment to maintain a suitable, safe and comfortable environment for the people who stay there. We found that although ligature points had been risk assessed, vulnerable people had unaccompanied access to the environment where ligature points still existed placing them at risk of harm.

During this visit we spoke with the matron, ward managers and staff to ask what changes had taken place since our last visit. We reviewed environmental risk assessments and undertook a tour of the building. We saw that ligature risk assessment had been reviewed and updated by the matron and the estates department in 2011.

During our tour of the building we saw that the number of ligature anchor points throughout the building had been reduced. On the day of our visit Meridian Ward was closed for refurbishment. The matron showed us the improvements to the ward, which included removal of high risk ligature points such as taps and shower fittings. We were told that Regency Ward was the next area scheduled for such refurbishment and a reduction in the number of high risk ligature points. We were told that a programme of replacing the windows would start in March 2012. Although not all high risk ligature anchor points had been removed, the hospital had an action plan in place to substantially reduce the risks within a set time frame.

On Regency and Caburn Wards each person had a swipe card to access their own room. This gave them privacy and meant that other people could not enter uninvited. The doors to each room had viewing panels that could be closed if needed. We saw a viewing panel covered on one room in Regency Ward to increase privacy for that person. We noticed that on Regency Ward the bathrooms were kept locked and checked hourly for people’s safety.

We spoke with senior staff on the wards who told us they were aware of the ligature points on the wards but felt their risk management systems ensured people’s safety.

We saw that the general environments had improved with the introduction of more art work, improved signage and notices boards on both wards. We noticed the outside space looked more inviting despite the weather, with the grass cut and shrubs pruned. The hospital was in the process of negotiating with a private company a programme for volunteers to paint the wards. This was part of the company’s helping in the community project. The hospital was ensuring that all volunteers had undertaken relevant checks and appropriate training.

We noticed that on Regency Ward there was a strong smell of cigarettes. We were told that although people were supported to smoke outside the ward this was difficult to enforce in poor weather. The Mental Health Act data base informed us that the availability of a smoking cessation programme was generally much worse that expected for Regency Ward.