Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust criticised for agency staff

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A report into mental health services in Coventry and Warwickshire has highlighted a shortage of permanent staff and a reliance on agency workers.

It followed a visit by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission, invited as part of a new monitoring regime.

They found services were generally good and praised examples of good practice, but said these were often not shared.

Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust said it was already working on the issues raised.

More than a dozen sites operated by the trust were visited by a team of 50 inspectors over a week in January.

During visits to some acute and intensive care areas at night, inspectors found 40% of those on duty were temporary staff.

The CQC report said agency workers had said they had little time to read care plans and would rely on permanent staff for information. It said there was sometimes "little communication".

'Caring staff'

On one occasion a member of staff did not know the name or treatment details of someone they were caring for.

The report also criticised the safety of some in-patient rooms, highlighting a number of "ligature points".

Despite this, the inspectors said the trust had "caring and committed staff" at all levels.

During the visit, the report found there were also "examples of very good practice", but that these were not shared, sometimes not even within the same hospital.

There was praise for the specialist in-patient eating disorder service, community services and children's respite services.

Trust Chief Executive Rachel Newson welcomed the report.

"However, we recognise there are a number of areas where we still need to improve, particularly around how we spread our good practice to all areas of our trust," she said.

"We are already working to make sure we focus on these issues and have clear plans to address all of the concerns that have been raised."

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