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Archived: Assessment and Treatment Unit

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All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 22, 23 November 2011
Date of Publication: 24 January 2012
Learning Disabilities Reviews Report published 24 January 2012 PDF

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

Meeting 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

Overall, the environment within the unit was safe and fit for purpose. However, repairs and associated maintenance works were not always carried out immediately and those that were carried out were reactive. Some areas of the unit were personalised and reflected patients' individual needs and wants. More could be done to ensure other patients can influence the way the unit is maintained, decorated and furnished, until the move to the new unit takes place. Outside areas need to be regularly maintained, to ensure they are safe and accessible to patients.

User experience

None of the patients or their relatives raised any concerns relating to the environment within the unit or the general premises, during our inspection.

Other evidence

At registration with CQC the provider declared non compliance with this outcome for this location. This was because the building was no longer fully suitable to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities. We conducted a planned review in January 2011 and requested a number of documents and risk assessments. The documents showed that risks associated with the existing building were being monitored and managed. A number of estates checks and remedial works have been undertaken to improve or manage the current building. For example, improvements to the heating system along with cavity wall insulation had resolved the previous heating problems. Replacement baths and or showers had been installed, a new sensory area created and measures had been undertaken to improve staff observation of patients.

During our inspection visit we conducted a tour of the premises. We found the building was tired in relation to décor, fixtures and fittings. We identified areas that could be either improved or further assessed to see if additional remedial work should be undertaken. For example, we found two flickering lights that required replacement and in one bedroom three windows with protective perspex glass had a layer of dust trapped and required cleaning. One external garden area contained a broken wood swing which staff had reported to the estates department for disposal but this had yet to be collected. Another external area was reasonably tidy but grass growing between flagstones and damp leaves posed a slipping risk. The laundry room had limited ventilation and contained no hand washing facility.

Staff told us that sometimes there were delays to repairs to the building once they had been reported. We reviewed the maintenance request log books, which showed some repairs were undertaken promptly though the majority appeared to take over one week. One of the flats we saw reflected the patient's interests, was personalised and comfortable, though the other flat areas could be improved, particularly in relation to the lounge and corridor areas. We saw some evidence of poor housekeeping in some areas, which could place patients at risk. This included an old broken computer stored in a patient area, and in the activity room there were piles of art materials and games stored on furniture, which looked very unstable and could have fallen. This was fed back to the managers to ensure remedial action was taken to address these concerns.

Staff and the consultant psychiatrist explained why some patients would not be able to tolerate personalisation of their bedrooms. The reasons for this were recorded in the patients care plans.

During our inspection visit a new floor covering was being fitted to the reception corridor which demonstrated the provider continued to undertake remedial work as required. We fed back our findings to senior managers who explained they would undertake additional assessments and remedial work as necessary to keep the building safe for people who use the service until the building ceases to be used in early 2013.

The provider explained the unit will be relocated during early 2013 to a new building - a location which will be specifically designed to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities. We reviewed a number of documents, including the business case, project reports, consultations and plans relating to the new build and reconfiguration of the intensive support service. The building was currently at the planning stage with the local authority.