Half of patients at The Harbour ‘don’t feel safe’, report says

The Harbour in Blackpool
The Harbour in Blackpool
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Just half of all patients at The Harbour feel safe at all times, according to a new report.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the 154-bed facility in Preston New Road, Marton, has now revealed a nine-step plan in a bid to improve.

Sally Hickling died at The Harbour after being found with a ligature around her neck. An inquest at Blackpool Town Hall heard failings at the facility contributed to the 20-year-old's death

Sally Hickling died at The Harbour after being found with a ligature around her neck. An inquest at Blackpool Town Hall heard failings at the facility contributed to the 20-year-old's death

Independent group Healthwatch’s report – ‘Harbour Conservation’ – was published just a week after Blackpool coroner Alan Wilson found failings there contributed to patient Sally Hickling’s death last year.

The 20-year-old died after observation levels were ‘inappropriately’ reduced and staff failed to check on her.

Lisa Moorhouse, adult mental health network director at Lancashire Care, said: “We welcome the report regarding The Harbour and always encourage feedback from our service users and their families and carers.

“By gathering opinions and working with partners such as Healthwatch, it helps us to identify areas in which we are performing well, and those that require improvements, so we can ensure we are providing the highest quality, patient-led compassionate care.”

The report spoke to 22 patients and 14 family members, friends and carers.

Just 23 per cent of patients said enough activities were on offer, 41 per cent said they liked the food, 45 per cent said they weren’t able to wash their hands before eating, and 36 per cent said they slept well at night.

Just 32 per cent said they knew and understood what their care plan was, while 50 per cent said they were optimistic about their care going forward.

However, their friends and family were more praising.

Some 93 per cent said they felt their loved one was safe at all times, 79 per cent said The Harbour was making a difference, while 86 per cent said their friend or family member did not experience a delay in care or treatment.

Among its 12 improvement steps, Lancashire Care said they will meet with patients to find out why they feel unsafe, ensure leisure staff visit wards on a daily basis to plan activities, overhaul their menu and host themed evenings, and probe why patients aren’t sleeping well at night.

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, chief officer at Healthwatch Lancashire, said: “On behalf of all three local Healthwatchs in Lancashire, I would like to thank Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust for their response to our report and for their actions to improve the experiences of service users.”