Huntercombe Hospital Maidenhead 'must make improvements' says CQC

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has warned Huntercombe Hospital Maidenhead that it must make improvements to keep young people safe.

Huntercombe, based in Huntercombe Lane South, Taplow, provides specialist child and adolescent mental health inpatient service, including psychiatric intensive care for young people.

The hospital was previously run by Huntercombe (No.12) Limited and was rated inadequate. It was placed in special measures.

On March 5, Huntercombe Young People Ltd took over the running of the hospital. On March 18, CQC completed first inspection of the hospital under the new provider.

Following this unannounced inspection, CQC has imposed conditions – preventing the provider from admitting young people to Severn or Thames psychiatric intensive care wards without CQC’s permission.

The conditions also restrict the number of people on each ward to a maximum of 10 until further notice.

Karen Bennet-Wilson, CQC’s head of hospital inspection for mental health, said:

“While clear progress has been made to respond to some of the areas of concern that we had previously identified, not all of these had been addressed.”

Under the new provider, prescribing practices were improved and parents/guardians are now regularly invited to participate in patient review meetings.

Staff were also in the process of setting up a sensory room on the ward.

However, inspectors found that the provider had not carried out a review of care to ensure that it was fit for purpose and there was no clear oversight of the management of incidents.

Reducing the number of young people on the wards is intended to ‘allow staff to focus on young people’s care without the additional pressure of dealing with admissions or readmissions.’

A spokesperson for The Huntercombe Group, said:

“We recognise that while improvements have been made to some aspects of the quality of care at our Maidenhead hospital, our progress hasn’t been wide-ranging or fast enough.

“We’re confident that our new senior leadership team will speed up this progress – they have been urgently implementing our action plan to provide our patients with the best possible care.”

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