Cygnet hospital remains in special measures

Cygnet Hospital Colchester remains in special measures after a focused inspection by the regulator found improvements at the hospital were still needed.

The healthcare watchdog inspected the 54-bed mental health hospital after receiving information relating to the safeguarding of patients and the reporting, investigation and management of incidents.

Inspectors found an allegation of abuse had not been reported appropriately and that staff did not always follow correct Covid-19 policy or infection prevention and control guidelines. Some failed to wear face masks and managers did not take appropriate action when staff breached guidance.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted areas the provider must improve on, including ensuring Covid-19 guidelines are followed, disposing clinical waste appropriately and accurately recording incidents.

Dr Kevin Cleary, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: ‘Our latest inspection and ongoing monitoring of Cygnet Colchester found improvements were still needed in some areas, particularly surrounding infection prevention and control.

‘With cases of Covid-19 rising, it is essential the service makes these improvements to ensure patients are receiving care in a safe environment.’

A spokesperson for Cygnet Hospital Colchester said: ‘Significant improvements at Cygnet Hospital Colchester have been made since the CQC’s last comprehensive inspection in November 2019, and these are acknowledged in the latest report.

‘In particular, the inspectors said they found patients were treated with kindness and respect, and that managers supported staff through regular, constructive, managerial, clinical and safeguarding supervision of their work.’

Also, after reviewing 79% of all available CCTV linked to restraints across all wards, inspectors concluded techniques had been used effectively and that ‘staff managed most incidents well’.

The spokesperson added: ‘Where concerns were raised during the recent unannounced focused inspection, we took immediate steps to address these, with managers reinforcing Cygnet’s Covid-19 policy on infection prevention and control as set out by the government, and we have tested the competency of all clinical staff in respect of these guidelines.’