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Alfreton's Field House mental health unit in special measures

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image captionThe unit had already been ordered to make improvements last year

A mental health unit where a patient was found dead has been placed into special measures over concerns about safety and cleanliness.

Field House, in Alfreton, Derbyshire, was rated "inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a visit in August.

A patient died "following use of a ligature" shortly after its inspection, the CQC said.

Elysium, which runs the unit for women, said it was "swiftly" making changes.

The inspectors' verdict comes after the unit was ordered to make improvements, in January 2019.

'Covid-19 worries'

Dr Kevin Cleary, the CQC's mental health lead, said: "There were issues with observation of patients, a lack of cleanliness at the service and with staffing.

"There were insufficient nursing staff and they did not have the skills and experience to keep patients safe from avoidable harm.

"Bank and agency staff were not always familiar with the observation policy.

"It was also worrying that not all staff received a Covid-19 risk assessment, infection control standards were poor, and hand sanitiser was not available in the service's apartments."

The CQC said a follow-up inspection on Monday had showed "areas of improvement" but it would continue to monitor the service.

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An Elysium spokeswoman said: "We have already implemented a significant quality improvement action plan to ensure we swiftly achieve all of the recommendations made as a result of this inspection."

These include improving training, increasing staff numbers, bolstering Covid-19 measures and making "environmental improvements".

"The CQC have acknowledged significant improvement in the service on their recent visit and we will continue to work in close partnership with them in the weeks and months ahead," she added.

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Related Topics

  • Alfreton
  • Care Quality Commission
  • Mental health

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