Burgess Hill psychiatric hospital told it must improve

A psychiatric hospital in Burgess Hill has been told by health regulators that it must improve.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 4:26 pm
Updated Saturday, 16th October 2021, 12:02 pm

The ruling was made following an inspection at The Priory Hospital by the Care Quality Commission.

Commission inspectors, in a report out today, said they welcomed a number of improvements at the hospital but more were needed.

They said people were exposed to risk of harm and that ‘ward environments were not always safe or well maintained.’

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The inspection, which took place in August, was to check on progress following an earlier inspection in May when the company that runs the hospital - Partnerships in Care Limited - was told that it had to make immediate and ongoing improvements.

But the latest checks showed that, although some were made, were more needed. The official overall rating has now dropped from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement.’

Care Quality Commission head of hospital inspection Karen Bennett-Wilson said: “During our inspection of Priory Hospital Burgess Hill, we found the hospital had made a number of improvements since our last visit, however, there were still areas where further work was needed.

“Leaders did not always have clear oversight of care in the hospital so they could see where improvements needed to be made and take follow-up action.

“This was particularly concerning when the service wasn’t able to learn from incidents meaning people were being exposed to the same risk of harm.

“Although patients and carers spoke very highly about the medical team, saying how kind and supportive they were, they also alerted us to some new areas of concern.

“Patients told us that their Section 17 leave had been cancelled at short notice. Section 17 leave allows patients to leave the hospital for short periods of time, and it is accepted as an important part of a patient’s treatment plan.

“Staff did not always document the rationale for the cancellation.

“Following the inspection, we gave the provider feedback on our findings.

“The management team knows what it must do to improve its services further.

“In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the hospital and will not hesitate to take action if Priory Hospital Burgess Hill fails to make the necessary improvements.”

A spokesman for the hospital said: “We have been working hard to make improvements at the hospital. We welcome that the CQC recognise the significant progress that has been made since their last inspection, and we are pleased that patients and carers spoke very highly about the medical team, saying how kind and supportive they were. The hospital is rated ‘Good’ on being Caring, Effective, and Responsive to people’s needs. However, despite considerable investment and effort, some improvements are still works in progress.

“Overall, 89% of Priory Group facilities are rated by our UK regulators as being “Good or better” (or the equivalent in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). “At Burgess Hill, we have implemented an action plan to raise the hospital to the standard we expect. We are monitoring to ensure that staffing challenges do not have a negative impact on patient leave. We have taken steps to improve our recording of risk management, and we are actively exploring options for enhancing the ward environments. Priory have recently reviewed and updated governance procedures across the group, including at this hospital.”