Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust ‘must improve’

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Heather Tierney-Moore (below) and The Harbour

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Heather Tierney-Moore (below) and The Harbour

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Bosses at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust have vowed to make improvements after an inspection revealed half of its services require improvements.

It was the first time the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has inspected an organisation of this size and scale under a new inspection regime, and due to logistical restraints only 30 per cent of its services were inspected and 300 people spoken to.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Heather Tierney-Moore

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Heather Tierney-Moore

Overall, the Trust, which operates Blackpool’s 154-bed mental health hospital The Harbour, was rated as ‘requires improvements’, with the operation of the governance structure questioned.

Other concerns highlighted in 14 specific areas include:

• long waits for appointments in mental health services for children and young people;

• patients with minor injuries triaged by staff who were not clinically trained;

We are taking the inspection process and the feedback extremely seriously

• in one observed case, the temperature of vaccine storage was allowed to go over the recommended range, potentially making vaccines unfit for use;

• concerns over staffing levels and large case loads;

• electronic patient records were not always accessible;

• some secure wards were damaged and needed improvement, with some ligature risks present.

The Trust said a number of issues highlighted have already been addressed and some immediate remedial action was taken.

Mental health crisis services and health based places of safety were rated outstanding for the effectiveness of the care they provide.

Heather Tierney-Moore, chief executive of the trust, said: “As an organisation we are taking the inspection process and the feedback extremely seriously and we welcome the opportunity to learn and improve.

“We were realistic about the fact that there are challenges in some parts of the organisation and issues that need to be resolved and thought that it was important to be open with the CQC about that from the onset.

“The Trust has used this first major inspection under the new format as a learning opportunity and in some respects, the outcome is helpful in that it will provide a clear focus for us to make the necessary improvements, with the support from our commissioners.”

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust provides services for a population of around 1.4million people.

The services provided include health visiting, podiatry, sexual health and dentistry as well as inpatient and community mental health services.

The Trust covers the whole of the county and employs around 7,000 members of staff across more than 400 sites.