Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands mental health trust 'requires improvement'

The Zinnia Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption Services were inspected at The Zinnia Centre in Sparkhill

A mental health trust that provides services for 1.2m people in the West Midlands has been told by a health watchdog it "requires improvement".

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust runs services from over 50 sites.

Inspectors criticised the safety of medicines management and said there was a high use of prone - or face-down - restraint.

Bosses at the trust said improvements were being made.

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The inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated the trust as "requires improvement" overall. It was previously rated as "good", in 2014.

Inspectors said:

  • The oversight and safety of medicines management was compromised as the trust did not have a medicines safety officer in post
  • There was a high use of prone restraint in the trust - out of 1,229 restraints between December 2015 and November 2016, 580 were carried out in the prone position
  • The trust's policy concerning rapid tranquilisation was out of date and did not reflect updated guidance

However, inspectors highlighted several areas of good practice and said staff were caring, compassionate and kind and treated patents with dignity and respect.

'Work completed'

The CQC added staffing levels were generally safe and sufficient to provide good care.

The trust said it has already made improvements, including appointing a medication safety officer.

Chief executive John Short, said: "We recognise that the CQC has identified some areas where we did not meet the high standards we set ourselves.

"Since the inspection, work has already been completed in a number of key areas and is under way to address the other concerns raised."

The inspection took place between 27 and 31 March.

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