CQC inspectors have raised concerns about a mental health hospital served with six statutory notices.

Independent secure hospital Linden House, near York, already had four enforcement notices after an inspection last year, but a follow-up visit by the Care Quality Commission, while identifying some improvements, has resulted in a further two notices.

Providers failing to comply with statutory notices by the regulator can be prosecuted or closed.

Problem areas highlighted by inspectors include staff training, the handling of controlled drugs and a lack of evidence that self-harm audits are being carried out.

‘Positive action’

CQC senior enforcement manager Tim Weller said: “We welcome the positive action that has taken place at Linden House but much more needs to be done.

“We are absolutely determined to make sure that the company takes the right action on behalf of patients.

“We are currently considering what further enforcement action needs to be taken to ensure compliance and will continue to closely monitor the situation at the hospital.”

First inspections

Inspections in September and December last year by the CQC’s predecessor, the Healthcare Commission, found it had not met requirements related to:

  • handling controlled drugs;
  • confidential information;
  • staff training;
  • staff levels;
  • the adequate risk assessment of patients.

The provider, which cares for patients who have learning disabilities or are detained under the Mental Health Act 2000, was threatened with legal action if it failed to improve.

Follow-up

A follow-up inspection by the CQC in March found there had been improvements in staffing levels, but that further progress was needed.

Inspectors raised additional concerns, including:

  • no evidence of any suicide or self-harm audits being completed within the hospital;
  • no evidence that any supportive observation audits had been completed;
  • information for patients was not available in accessible formats;
  • not all staff receive annual appraisals;
  • no evidence that all staff who need to be are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Linden House was unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.