Camden mental health chiefs unveil action plan after CQC says trust ‘requires improvement’

St Pancras Hospital, where Camden and Islington Trust is based. Picture: Nigel Sutton

St Pancras Hospital, where Camden and Islington Trust is based. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Health chiefs are taking action at the Royal Free Hospital after inspectors found ‘ligature points’ that could help patients kill or harm themselves

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, which was ranked “requires improvement” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last month, is the biggest provider of mental health and substance misuse services for people in Camden and Islington.

Its facilities include the Highgate Mental Health Centre.

The CQC rated mental health crisis services and health-based places of safety as “inadequate”.

And the watchdog found there were ligature points – which can be used for self harm – in the toilets at the Royal Free Hospital accident and emergency department.

Not all staff were informed about mental health law and some patients were not told about their right to have an advocate.

At a board meeting on Thursday, nursing and people director Claire Johnston said while there was good in places, there needed to be good all the way through – “like Brighton rock”.

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The draft action plan states a core team will be tasked with visiting all wards to map and deal with any remaining ligature points and obstructed viewpoints.

The application and understanding of mental health law within the trust will be strengthened, for example by appointing “mental health law champions” in teams.

There are also plans for team manager leadership programmes.

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