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Broadmoor Hospital issued CQC warning due to severe staff gaps

The CQC has warned West London Mental Health NHS Trust that it must make significant improvements in its staffing levels at Broadmoor Hospital.

The trust, which runs the high-security psychiatric hospital in Berkshire, was issued a warning notice requiring it to improve its care for the hospital’s patients.

The CQC visited Broadmoor in November of this year to check its progress following a previous inspection and found that the trust still did not have enough qualified staff to meet patients’ needs.

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: “Our inspection team found that there were 68 vacancies for qualified nurses, a vacancy rate of 30%, and that this was affecting the care and treatment of patients. 

“We found that too often, staff shortages led to the cancellation of social and therapeutic activities, including for patients who had been confined to their rooms all night. It also meant that some patients in long-term segregation did not always have the opportunities to associate with other patients that had been agreed in their care plans.”

But a spokesman for the trust insisted that Broadmoor has already made improvements since the CQC published its last report on the hospital in June 2015.

He argued measures had been put in place to improve recruitment and retention of staff, such as relocation packages and preceptorship programmes for nurses and career development for healthcare assistants wanting to become qualified nurses.

“Like many other NHS trusts we face difficulties in recruiting suitably qualified, specialist registered mental health nurses and other clinical staff. We recognise the CQC’s concerns that this is causing particular challenges at Broadmoor Hospital and have been and are acting swiftly to rectify the situation,” the spokesperson said.

The CQC is expected to publish its full report into November’s inspection in January, but the trust has already been asked to make significant improvements by June 2017.

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