Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability Reawarded CQC 'Good' Rating

Rating had been suspended after a patient died and four others fell ill

Local charity hospital for patients with severe brain injuries has been re-awarded a ‘Good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission, after it was temporarily suspended from the ratings system after a patient died and four others fell ill.

The CQC carried out an unannounced focussed inspection in November last year in response to concerns about incidents on the Chatworth and Drapers Wards.

A further comprehensive inspection took place in February 2020 this year, and the hospital was found to have addressed many of the CQC’s concerns.

However inspectors did note that the service did not make a safeguarding referral to the local authority in a timely manner, and that not all staff had received safeguarding training tailored to the needs and vulnerabilities of the patients they were caring for.

Likewise, the service did not consistently control infection risks on Chatsworth Ward and staff did not keep all equipment and ward areas clean.

Families said they did not always feel they could raise concerns without fear, and inspectors raised concerns that some healthcare assistants on Chatsworth Ward did not have the training to cope with violence and aggression displayed by some patients.

The hospital is still rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ for safety, and must not admit any new service users at Chatsworth Ward without the written permission of the Care Quality Commission.

Nevertheless, the inspectors praised staff for identifying and quickly acting on patients at risk of deteriorating, and concluded that the hospital demonstrated it had plans to cope with unexpected events, such as a major incident.

Inspectors were particularly impressed with the introduction of bespoke hoists at the bedside of every patient on Drapers Ward, describing it as “outstanding innovative practice.”

Dr Nigel Acheson, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “The Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability needs to ensure that its previously good care standards are maintained, and I believe the leadership team is working toward that goal.

“There are areas where the service can improve its standard of care, which is essential to look after the vulnerable people in its charge. We did though note improvements were being made.”

Paul Allen, CEO at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, said, “We are addressing the areas noted by the CQC for improvement. In the meantime the hospital is operating as usual. The welfare of patients at the RHN has always and continues to be our primary concern. I am delighted that our ‘Good’ rating has been reinstated.”

The RHN is a residential independent hospital run by a charity, and provides assessment and rehabilitation for 46 patients with severe brain injuries or illness.

It also has a high dependency nursing home providing long term care for about 122 residents who have become disabled following a brain injury.

Sain Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

March 4, 2020