Safety concerns at Peterborough health trust - but services are rated as ‘good’ overall

Safety needs to improve at the NHS trust which delivers mental health services in Peterborough, inspectors have ruled.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 6:13 pm

While the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) were rated as ‘good’ overall, they said the safety of services ‘requires improvement.’

The CQC arrived at its overall rating after giving an individual rating to the following questions it asks: are services effective? (CPFT rated good); are services caring? (good); are services responsive to people’s needs (good); are services well-led (good). In answer to the question, are services safe? CPFT was told they ‘require improvement’.

The inspection report, published today, said: “We had concerns about seclusion practice and facilities. The trust had not fully addressed concerns about the layout of the psychiatric intensive care unit’s seclusion room. This could pose a safety risk to patients and staff. Staff had not ensured that all incidents of seclusion had been recorded in line with the Mental Health Act Code of Practice.”

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The report added: “Staff had failed to enforce the trust’s patient search policy in relation to smoking on wards. The trust’s smoke free policy was not being operated at all wards.

“Staff at the health-based place of safety at Fulbourn Hospital did not complete or update risk assessments for patients whilst in their care.

“We found some environmental risks at ward S3 in the eating disorder service. An environmental ligature assessment was in place but had not included the garden area. In addition, we found the garden back gate was unlocked. We raised this with managers during the inspection. Following the inspection, the garden area was risk assessed and the back gate secured.

“The clinic rooms within some eating disorder services were messy and grubby and required some essential equipment.”

However, the inspectors praised the dedication of staff at the Trust, which along with mental health services provides and community health care services for older people and those with long-term conditions.

The report said: “Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness. They understood the individual needs of patients and supported patients to understand and manage their care, treatment or condition.

“Staff treated each patient with dignity and engaged patients in meaningful activities. Staff recognised and respected the individual needs of patients, including cultural, social and religious beliefs.”

THe overall effectiveness of the trust was rated as ‘good’

Chief Executive Tracy Dowling said: “We are delighted the Trust has again been declared ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission, maintaining the rating awarded to us in 2015 and 2018.

“It is a true testament to the hard work and commitment of all our staff and colleagues, and the report identifies many areas where services have improved since the last inspection.

“Patients and carers remain at the very centre of everything we do, and the report notes the many areas in which there is good and outstanding practice.

“The report also helpfully identifies areas for improvement and we are fully committed to addressing every one of these recommendations.

“Overall, we continue to look for ways to improve the support we offer to the people who require our services and it remains our ambition to ensure all of our services continue the journey towards ‘outstanding’.”

To read the report, visit