Mental health service rated ‘inadequate’ by CQC

Mental health service rated ‘inadequate’ by CQC

Mental health hospital Meadow Lodge in Chudleigh, Devon, has been rated as ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors visited the service in February following an unannounced inspection last year when the regulator served a warning notice.

Following the February inspection the Huntercombe Group, the health provider that ran the mental health hospital, decided to close Meadow Lodge.

Inspectors found that the service had not been able to provide a stable, positive culture to enable staff to deliver safe care. Frequent changes in management had caused confusion amongst the staff and they were unclear who was providing support to them.

On seven occasions over a six-week period, agency nurses without the relevant knowledge or experience of mental health or child and adolescent mental health were left in charge of shifts.

Due to the instability of the local management team and pressures within the service there was conflict in the team at all levels. Agency staff reported not feeling welcome or supported by the team when they arrived for shifts.

The hospital is rated as ‘good’ for being caring and responsive and ‘inadequate’ for being safe, effective and well-led.

The CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Paul Lelliott said: ‘CQC has worked closely with NHS England along with other stakeholders. Meadow Lodge was subject to enhanced monitoring from these groups to ensure young people using services were safe since concerns were first raised last year.

‘Our latest inspection of Meadow Lodge identified issues that were a matter of some concern and that although some improvements had been made the service was not managed in a way that ensured safe care was delivered.

‘The Huntercombe Group has made the decision to remove Meadow Lodge from their portfolio of services.’

The group said it announced that it intended to close Meadow Lodge, which provided treatment and support for young people aged 12 to 18 with mental health problems, in March. This followed an NHS England review to re-organise capacity of child and adolescent mental health services in the South, which determined that Meadow Lodge will not be required.

Valerie Michie, chief executive of The Huntercombe Group said: ‘Unfortunately, despite numerous testimonials from young people and their families about the quality of care provided by our team, there has not been sufficient demand to keep the service open.’