In early February 2022, RQIA undertook an unannounced inspection to Lakeview Hospital to assess progress on the areas for improvement identified during RQIA’s previous inspection, from 16 August to 8 September 2021.
As a result of the RQIA’s findings in September, the Western Trust had committed to a series of improvement actions.
Lakeview is a ten-bed assessment and treatment unit for adults with a learning disability.
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At this most recent inspection, although significant progress has been made on a number of those issues, RQIA concerns about adult safeguarding and incident management at the hospital remained.
Additionally, concerns about the need to improve care and treatment to support recovery and resettlement of patients were heightened.
Under the Improvement Notices, the Western Trust is required to ensure full compliance with all RQIA’s recommendations by 10 September 2022.
In the interim period the Trust has provided assurances that immediate steps have been taken to address patient safety risks, including through staff training and strengthened safeguarding protocols.
During RQIA inspections at Lakeview Inspectors engaged with service users and their families to ensure that their experiences and views are heard. These inform and drive RQIA’s actions.
In RQIA’s engagement with the Western Trust, assurances have been given that patients’ families are advised of the RQIA inspection findings, and are kept fully informed of the actions being taken. RQIA has also reached out to families, should they wish to speak directly with RQIA.
The full Inspection Report, which will include details of the Western Trust’s Action Plan, is due to be published in early May 2022. The Improvement Notices can be accessed via www.rqia.org.uk/inspections/enforcement-activity/current-enforcement-activity/.
The RQIA stated: “The safety and wellbeing of all those receiving care at Lakeview Hospital is of paramount importance to RQIA. RQIA will continue to monitor and inspect this service and work with other stakeholders to ensure that it meets the required standards.”
Karen O’Brien, Director of Adult Mental Health and Disability Services at the Western Trust said: “RQIA carried out unannounced inspections of Lakeview Hospital on 2, 3 and 16 February 2022. The purpose of which to assess progress in relation to the 13 areas for improvement made in the previous inspection in August 2021.
“Through an improvement plan, the Trust has made considerable progress in a number of areas, with evidence of improved outcomes for patients. However, a number of areas of improvement remain and the Trust has received two Improvement Notices in relation to Adult Safeguarding and Care and Treatment.”
Karen continued: “An Improvement Plan was provided RQIA by the Trust which establishes the key focus and related work that will continue to be taken forward in relation to the identified concerns. This is managed through a Project Team and Project Board as well as being overseen by the Trust Corporate Management Team. As part of the normal RQIA inspection processes, families of patients in Lakeview Hospital continue to be communicated with.
“The Trust is committed to providing the highest quality services for all the patients and service users in its care. The Trust take very seriously the areas identified as requiring improvement in Lakeview Hospital and has demonstrated its willingness to take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the service is compliant with the relevant standards and practices.”
The Trust wbsite states: “Adults accessing services at Lakeview Hospital will have, or are in the process of being assessed, as having a learning disability. Most patients admitted will be experiencing difficulties in addition to their learning disability, such as mental ill health, neurological or neuro-developmental disorders which because of their severity make in-patient care the treatment of choice.
“The hospital also provides a day service and staff members, as required, will move with patients as part of their therapeutic interventions.
“All inpatients are supported by the relevant members of the multi-disciplinary team as appropriate to their assessed needs to return to their home setting following completion of their assessment and treatment.”