Cygnet hospital ‘significantly’ improves

A mental health hospital run by Cygnet Healthcare has been praised for making significant service improvements after its child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were criticised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year.

The Cygnet Hospital Godden Green near Sevenoaks in Kent achieved a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC in February, three months after the regulator warned its services required ‘significant improvement’.

Concerns about patient safeguarding were raised last November when an unannounced inspection of the hospital’s CAMHS services and low secure forensic service for men found it had breached a number of regulations, including safe care and treatment and good governance.

The hospital was issued three warning notices and ordered to comply with the requirements of the regulation by 15 January 2018. The CQC had already issued a warning notice against the provider for breach of regulation 13, safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment, following earlier inspections.

However, upon reinspection of the hospital in February, the CQC reported fewer incidences on wards and said significant improvements to the safety and quality of services had been made.

Noting significant management changes within the hospital, the regulator said staff had carried out ‘exemplary’ work in supporting a young person who identified as gender neutral and helping adult patients cut down on smoking.

Commenting on improvements made at the hospital, Nicky McLeod, chief operating officer at Cygnet Health Care, said: ‘Receiving a ‘Good’ rating for all of the elements inspected by CQC demonstrates the effort and commitment that Cygnet’s dedicated team has made to make all required improvements and ensure the best care for our patients.

‘The wellbeing of our service users is our top priority and we will continue to work collaboratively with our partners such as the CQC and NHS England (NHSE) to address and review systems and processes, gaining trust through our actions to ensure we can build on the outcomes we have achieved.’

Natasha Slowman, the CQC head of hospital inspection for mental health in the South East, added: ‘Since the last inspection, Cygnet Hospital has worked hard to make the significant but necessary improvements required to ensure the safety and well-being of its patients.

‘I am satisfied that the hospital is currently ensuring the safety of the young people in its care, working with the commissioners of these services, including NHSE, to allow a planned increase in capacity on its child and adolescent mental health services wards.

‘We hope this will allow Cygnet Hospital to sustain the improvements already made.’