PERFORMANCE: A review of Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust by the Care Quality Commission has found one of its facilities to be compliant with four essential standards, but noted improvements could be made.

The regulator carried out an unannounced inspection on 2 March at the trust’s St Ebbas Hospital to review its compliance with essential standards.

It followed an incident in November when staff reported to the trust that a patient had been bitten by a mouse and had “what appeared to be bite/nibble marks on the lower neck/upper back area”.

On the 6 December the CQC received anonymous information from someone who said friends who worked at the trust had said a patient had been bitten by a rat and that food portions were too small. Stories also appeared in the press in February that a patient had been bitten by a rat.

The regulator inspected the following four standards:

  • Outcome 4 – the care and welfare of people who use services
  • Outcome 5 – meeting nutritional needs
  • Outcome 8 – cleanliness and infection control
  • Outcome 10 – safety and suitability of premises

It found the St Ebbas facility was compliant with all four standards but noted that improvements could be made.

For example, the CQC said the hospital monitors patient experience effectively but care plans needed to contain only the current relevant information and there need to be consistency in filing care records.

The provider had ensured that generally patients were protected from the risks associated with unsafe or unsuitable premises, but a record needed to be kept on each occasions that visitors were given access to the premises.

Although systems were in place to ensure the cleanliness of the hospital premises, the issues raised by audits of cleanliness in November had not been fully addressed, including cluttered store rooms and staff rooms, and a male toilet being out of order.

Andy Erskine, trust director of services for people who have a learning disability, said: “I’m really pleased that St Ebba’s has remained compliant with the four standards of quality and safety that came under scrutiny on this occasion.

“The inspectors were also satisfied with the environmental standards – from the quality of the food through to the level of pest control being deployed.

“There is almost always room for improvement however and this report is no exception. Three minor concerns around action planning and record keeping have been highlighted for us to action. We are already addressing these areas.”

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