Health watchdog warning to Devon NHS trust

The Devon NHS trust which looks after the most vulnerable patients has been told to improve by a health watchdog or face fines, prosecution or closure.

The Devon Partnership Trust has been warned by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that it has 28 days to improve its supervision and support of staff.

The CQC said that it was unusual that no improvements had been made after a previous warning.

The trust said it had already made changes and was to introduce more.

The trust, which looks after patients with mental health and learning disability issues, was issued with conditions by the CQC in March in order to keep its licence.

The commission's regional director, Ian Biggs, said: "We put a requirement on them to improve certain aspects of their system to satisfy us that they are meeting standards.

"When we went back to have a look recently, they hadn't satisfied us that they had done enough.

"That is unusual, and it's something that we're going to keep a close eye on.

"We've told them very clearly that if they don't resolve the issue about making sure that staff are properly supported, then we will need to begin to take enforcement action."

The trust said it acknowledged the need to improve its performance around supervision and appraisal.

Chief executive Iain Tulley said the trust was in "no doubt about the seriousness of the current situation".

He said the trust was trying to introduce and embed changes to the way that people worked.

"This all takes time, particularly in a large, dispersed organisation such as ours, but we are confident that we will continue to make progress in this area."

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