Mental health unit in Weston ordered to improve by Care Quality Commission

The Copse, Beechmount Close, Oldmixon. Requires improvement rating by the CQC. Picture: MARK ATHE

The Copse, Beechmount Close, Oldmixon. Requires improvement rating by the CQC. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A rehabilitation unit for mental health patients in Weston-super-Mare has been told to improve after inspectors found it to be unsafe.

The Copse, in Beechmont Close, is a high dependence unit which helps patients to progress into community placements.

The unit was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for failings under safety and leadership.

The report states: “Staff did not always carry out or document that they had carried out physical health checks for patients.

“They had not checked a patient for signs of over sedation, after administering rapid tranquilisation medicine to reduce their aggression – over sedation can lead to breathing complications and potentially suffocation.

“We found mistakes had been made with the administration of clozapine – a medicine with potentially serious cardiac effects.

“Despite clear documentation to tell staff not to administer a full dose of clozapine - national guidance is to build up to the full dose - staff had administered the full dose straight off.

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“Staff had not recognised that this should have been reported as an incident.

“Patients on this medicine were not checked regularly for any signs of side effects.”

Inspectors also found the systems in place did not ensure allegations of abuse were raised in a timely manner to the appropriate bodies.

There were also poor cover procedures when staff members were on leave or sick.

This meant two alerts had not been made to the local authority and staff had not notified the CQC of the allegations of abuse.

Patients said they felt staff were ‘caring and supportive’ and involved them in their care planning.

Staff also praised the hospital director, who started six months before the inspection, as ‘approachable and supportive’.

There were 15 patients at the hospital during the inspection – all detained under the Mental Health Act.

A spokemsan for Elysium Healthcare Limited, which owns The Copse, said: “The Copse provides a much0needed service for local people where we strive to deliver the best care possible for each individual.

“We welcome the CQC inspection process and have addressed all areas identified for improvement.”