WORKFORCE: A member of staff at a neuro-rehabilitation unit has been suspended and a police investigation launched after a complaint from a patient’s family about their care.
The eight-bedded unit – at Sevenoaks Hospital but run by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust – closed to new admissions for six weeks after the complaint while investigations were carried out. As a result of this, the trust said it identified some changes that should be made and the closure period gave it time to carry these out .
The trust said suspension while investigations were carried out was normal. It would not give more details of the complaint or the member of staff involved.
Police said they had been contacted by a woman concerned about the lack of care offered to a 43-year-old patient at the unit, and enquiries are ongoing.
The Care Quality Commission also inspected the unit after the complaint was made – although it said the visit was routine.
The regulator highlighted two minor concerns. ‘Not all staff had been provided with the necessary specialist training to ensure they had all the necessary skills and competencies to meet the complex need of people using the services,’ a CQC report published this month said.
It added that no staff had training in patients with diabetes, epilepsy or depression, and there was no assessment of the competency of healthcare assistants to carry out work delegated by nurses, such as measuring blood pressures. It also said there were gaps and inconsistencies in records and agency staff on the unit had no access to electronic records.
The trust said it was urgently addressing the problems highlighted by the CQC.
Information released to HSJ