Somerset

Weston mental health services for young people 'inadequate'

Weston General Hospital Image copyright Weston Area Health NHS Trust
Image caption Weston Area Health NHS Trust runs the hospital as well as mental health services for children and adolescents

Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) run by the Weston Area Health NHS Trust have been rated as inadequate by care inspectors.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) scrutinised three areas of Weston General Hospital and the CAMHS services which the trust also runs.

Overall the trust was rated as requires improvement, which it welcomed.

The trust said action was being taken to address shortcomings, such as long referral times, in the CAMHS.

'High levels of demand'

Chief executive James Rimmer said: "Robust risk assessments have been carried out and actions identified have been completed.

"As with CAMHS across the country, high levels of demand and difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff mean we cannot always see people as quickly as we would like.

"We would like to apologise to our patients and their families for any distress that this may have caused."

Services at the hospital were rated as good because staff were kind and caring to patients, and surgery received the same rating.

Urgent and emergency services remained inadequate.

"The service did not have enough staff with the right qualifications, skills, training and experience to keep people safe from avoidable harm and to provide the right care and treatment," inspectors said.

"There was not a cohesive or stable leadership team in the emergency department."

Although seven out of 10 areas were rated as good, the CQC said the requires improvement rating was given due to how well-led the trust was.

Dr Nigel Acheson, CQC's deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: "The ongoing uncertainty over the trust's direction continues to overshadow the day-to-day business of the hospital.

"While I am encouraged that the trust has made progress to address our concerns from our inspection in 2015 there is still a lot more to do."

The hospital has closed its overnight A&E unit for the past two years and the local CCG for Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire is now proposing to make the closure permanent.

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