PERFORMANCE: The Care Quality Commission said consent to treatment was its “greatest area of concern” at the London mental health trust, particularly as it had been brought up in previous reports by the Mental Health Act Commission.

The Mental Health Act statement produced in January said issues included clincians failing to inform patients of the results of Second Opinion Appointed Doctors visits, and not recording assessment of capacity, or consent to treatment, on admission or at three months.

The CQC’s report was made after mental health act commissioners visited the trust between November 2009 and October 2010.

It said that after commissioners raised their concerns the trust had implemented measures including refresher training for clinicians, a “consent to treatment” checklist to be issued to all relevant clinicians, and audits of clinical entries on the RiO mental health records system by senior managers.

The report added that “the trust’s administration of the Mental Health Act continued to be of a high standard across the trust” and said the Locality Mental Health Act Manager had been moved to a unit to “enabl[e] staff to seek guidance and support on the operation of the MHA and Code of Practice, at an early stage.”

The commissioners also praised the trust for its work on an adult learning difficulties ward.

Their report said: “It was apparent that a great deal of thought had gone into supporting patients with communication issues. Good examples of this included: pictorial signage, client-centred approaches to information sharing and respectful care delivery. The availability of audio-based information about medication and the use of pictogram supported care planning is an example of good practice for the rest of the trust.”

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