Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership services rated 'weak' by health watchdog
Mental health services in the Bristol area have been rated “weak” by a health watchdog, according to a new report.
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership, which runs NHS services across the former Avon area, has been rated by the Healthcare Commission.
As well as scoring the lowest possible rating, the mental health service was handed a list of 10 recommendations to help it improve its work.
The commission said patients and carers in the Bristol area didn't have enough say in treatment options and care plans for people with mental health problems were ineffective.
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It was also noted there was a high number of cases where staff had suffered violence, bullying or abuse within the partnership.at Avon and Wiltshire.
A follow-up visit by inspectors has been made to the partnership and an action plan has been drawn up to improve services, which will be monitored by the strategic health authority, NHS South West.
The Avon and Wiltshire Partnership was one of 11 mental heath services rated as weak by the Healthcare Commission in the latest report. A total of 69 inpatient mental health services across the country were assessed.
The trust said it has now appointed a new director and inpatient services manager to deal with the improvements listed by the commission.
It plans to offer patients and carers more say in their care, more staff training, and activities for patients during evenings and weekends.
Patients will be discharged sooner with more home treatment support and there are better patient records systems.
Director of nursing Sally Thomson said: “Since the review, we have significantly improved services by listening to our communities, commissioners and our independent reviewers.
“We take our responsibility to service users extremely seriously, and are committed to ensuring safe, high quality services across all 16 adult wards within the trust.
“We are confident we have and will be able to address any areas of concern to ensure we continue to provide the right care, at the right place at the right time.”
The commission conducted the review following a number of reports over the last decade highlighting concerns about the quality of mental health services across the country.
It showed there were variations in standards between mental health services in the UK and differences between wards within the same mental health trusts.
The report highlighted high levels of violence had been reported nationally in 2007 with 45 per cent of nurses and 15 per cent of patients reporting they were physically assaulted.
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership is responsible for services including Blackberry Hill Hospital in Fishponds, which cares for older patients, and the Susan Britton Wills Centre at Bristol General Hospital in Guinea Street and Blaise View in Brentry, which care for adults with mental health problems.