CQC tells Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust to make safety improvements

Published: 17 February 2023 Page last updated: 21 February 2023

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has told Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust to make safety improvements in the wards for older people with mental health problems at Woodlands Hospital, following an inspection in November.

CQC carried out this unannounced focused inspection due to concerns received about the safety of the wards and the care and treatment being provided in the wards for older people with mental health problems at Woodlands Hospital.

Following this inspection, the safe rating for these wards has dropped from good to inadequate, and CQC has issued the trust with a warning notice to focus their attention on making significant and immediate improvements in this area.

The overall rating for the wards has now declined from good to requires improvement.

Karen Knapton, CQC deputy director of operations in the north, said:

“When we inspected the wards for older people with mental health problems, we found staff hadn’t completed all the mandatory training required for their role. This included life support, moving and handling, prevention of violence and aggression, as well as safeguarding. The provider must ensure all staff are trained in these areas as it was affecting their ability to keep people safe.

“Inspectors found risk assessments, care plans and handover records weren’t completed appropriately for staff to have all the information required to safely look after people in their care. This was particularly concerning given the staffing pressures on the service and high use of temporary staff.

“Additionally, people were being cared for in ward environments which weren’t safe. There were issues with broken furniture and fittings, ligature risks not mitigated and alarm systems which didn’t always work which could put people at risk of harm. Leaders must address these issues as a matter of priority.

“Due to our findings, we have served the trust a warning notice so that they are clear about what changes must be made to improve patient care and safety at pace. We will continue to monitor the service and return to check on the progress.”

Inspectors found:

  • The service did not have enough nursing and medical staff. Staff turnover and sickness rates were high. We had significant concerns about lack of qualified nurse cover, with frequent occasions where one nurse was allocated to more than one ward and registered nurse associates allocated as the nurse in charge
  • Clinic room checks were not always undertaken regularly, including resuscitation equipment checks and cleaning and servicing of equipment
  • There were concerns about medicines management, including safe storage and checks of controlled drugs, as well as medicines fridges left unlocked including one which contained food and drink
  • People’s notes were not comprehensive and not all staff could access them easily. The electronic records system and incident reporting system were not accessible for many bank and agency staff. This meant they were unable to access care plans, risk assessments and progress notes, or to enter their own records. 

Contact information

For enquiries about this press release, email regional.comms@cqc.org.uk.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.