CQC Lifts Condition On West London Mental Health NHS Trust

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) today lifted one of three conditions placed on West London Mental Health Trust after it showed it has systems to ensure patients’ detention papers were properly renewed under the Mental Health Act.

People who are detained under the Act must have their detention papers reviewed regularly to ensure they are being treated in accordance with their rights and that their treatment is appropriate for their needs.

CQC said the trust had made important improvements to better protect the rights of patients detained under the Act. It now ensures that all records are renewed within set timescales and that treatment and care is continually reviewed.

West London Mental Health Trust was judged not to be meeting essential standards of quality and safety when CQC introduced a new registration system on 1 April. The trust was registered on the condition that it improved on three essential standards of quality and safety.

Today’s report looks specifically at the condition relating to detention papers and care plans. The trust was required to:

– renew patient detention papers as required by the Mental Health Act
– ensure all aspects of care is documented in the agreed service user plan

Following the deadline of 31 May, CQC inspectors reviewed a series of documents to check whether necessary improvements had been made. Inspectors found:

– The trust had properly renewed patients’ detention papers as required by the Mental Health Act. This ensured that a patient’s treatment order status was updated by a certain timescale, and also ensured patients were not being unlawfully detained.

– The trust put in place an action plan to enable feedback, received from Mental Health Commissioner visits, to be recorded and effectively acted on by managers. A review of the Mental Health Act commissioner data did not identify issues relating to unlawful detention and treatment.

– The trust implemented a quarterly care plan audit which is to be reported to the Patient Experience and Recovery Group meeting led by the Head of Nursing.

– Patient records also show that detained patients have current care plans in place. This demonstrates that staff are having conversations with patients about their condition and plan for treatment which is also reviewed by a certain date.

– However, there is evidence that some patients do not have care plans in place. CQC said the trust must act to ensure that all patients have a care plan that details their treatment and includes input from patients.

Colin Hough, Regional Director for London said:

“West London Mental Health Trust has made progress in ensuring that the detention papers of patients detained under the Mental Health Act are properly reviewed. It is very important that the rights of this vulnerable group are protected and that proper systems are in place to ensure all patients are treated in accordance with the Act.

“In addition, where there are issues of concern raised by Mental Health Act Commissioners, trust managers now have strategies in place to take action and ensure patients’ needs are continually being met.

Mr Hough added: “The registration system was only introduced in April, but already we are seeing that it is very effective in driving improvements. But those improvements must be sustained. If we see any evidence that standards are slipping, we will take action.”

Source: Care Quality Commission

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