Taplow children's psychiatric hospital 'requires improvement'

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said Huntercombe Hospital Maidenhead ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection in July.

The hospital is a specialist child and adolescent mental health inpatient service with psychiatric intensive care units for young people.

Under the previous provider, the service was rated inadequate overall and it was placed in special measures.

In March, Huntercombe Young People Ltd took over the running of the hospital.

Shortly after, CQC carried out a focused inspection. The new provider was served with a warning notice which required it to make improvements to the governance of the hospital.

In July, CQC carried out the first comprehensive inspection of the service under the new provider.

It found that staff morale had improved and the hospital was cleaner and brighter, but staffing was inconsistent and more therapeutic activities were needed.

Staff also need more training in eating disorders – with some making ‘unhelpful or inappropriate’ comments about food, or not providing enough reassurance during stressful tube feeding.

Karen Bennett-Wilson, CQC’s head of hospital inspection for mental health, said: “Despite only being in post a short amount of time, we saw the positive impact being made by some structured, sustainable changes.

“However, there is still some way to go.”

A spokeswoman for The Huntercombe Group said:

“We will take the outstanding issues raised in the report on board and tackle them as part of our ongoing action plan, which has already resulted in new processes to implement feedback from relatives and patients.

“Our action plan is also focussed on enhanced training programmes for our staff and updating the physical space – our hospital is in an old building that we are continuously modernising and improving.”

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