Lifesaving heart equipment ‘locked away at mental unit’
A Care Quality Commission inspection report found that defibrillators were locked away – potentially endangering the lives of patients 20 Mar 2013 13:40
Inspectors found life-saving equipment was kept locked away on a mental health unit.
Newly-designed wards at Park House, in Crumpsall, were judged below standard and unsuitable, an inspection by the Care Quality Commission found.
Care Quality Commission inspectors found defibrillators were locked away – meaning someone suffering a heart-attack could die before a staff member with the key was found.
There were also concerns that medication was not being stored at correct temperatures because of cramped and poorly designed clinic rooms.
Elderly patients also told inspectors the heating on their wards had been broken for some time, leaving staff handing out extra blankets at night.
The report also found a lack of storage meant patients – many of them homeless – had to keep all their belongings under their beds in plastic bags, which meant mobile phones had been stolen.
Manchester Health and Social Care Trust, which runs the unit, in the grounds of North Manchester General, has admitted it did not reach the high standards expected and says it is working hard to resolve the problems.
The findings come just a few months after extra patients were moved to newly-refurbished wards at Park House following the controversial closure of Edale Unit at the Manchester Royal Infirmary site.
The MRI facility was closed after just six years at a cost of £5m, with patients transferred to Park House last autumn. Alan Hartman, vice chair of Manchester Users’ Group, which represents mental health patients, said: “We definitely feel this report justifies our concerns about Edale House closing.
“If you have to store belongings in a bag and it gets stolen it’s very difficult to get compensation. It feels like mental health services are going backwards in a terrible way.
“It’s getting harder for groups like ours to go on wards and check conditions, and patients are not being listened to.”
The CQC had returned to Park House for an unannounced inspection at the end of last year after a previous visit found wards understaffed with high reliance on agency workers.
At that time nurses on night shifts were often so busy a message on the unit’s crisis phoneline told patients to call the Samaritans for help instead.
Inspectors found that staffing levels were improving and new doctors and nurses had been taken on. A spokesman for Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust said: “During (the CQC) visit, our inpatient unit at Park House passed on four of the five standards that were inspected
“However, on one measure relating to estates, we did not reach the high standard we would normally expect of ourselves.
“As soon as we were made aware of the findings, some of which related to the earlier refurbishment of the unit in the autumn, we took steps to ensure that these were addressed promptly.”
Credit : Manchester Evening News :- http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/lifesaving-heart-equipment-locked-away-1765124
More Information in connection with this story :- https://www.manchesterusersnetwork.org.uk/2014/07/17/dont-know-turn/