Doncaster hospital is put in special measures and slammed by health chiefs for 'poor care'

A Doncaster mental health hospital has been put in special measures for its ‘poor care’ after a damning report by inspectors.
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Cheswold Park Hospital – an independent hospital for adults with mental disorders, autism and learning disabilities – was deemed inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Hospital chiefs say they are "incredibly disappointed" with the rating and were taking the concerns "seriously".

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The CQC said unannounced inspections took place in July, when 86 people were living at the hospital.

Cheswold Park Hospital has been put in special measures.Cheswold Park Hospital has been put in special measures.
Cheswold Park Hospital has been put in special measures.

Jenny Wilkes, CQC deputy director of operations in the North, said inspectors found "a lack of effective systems and processes to enable staff to deliver high-quality care for people".

"We also had concerns around staffing levels, which led to some staff telling us they didn't feel safe working on the wards due to low staffing numbers," she added.

She said this meant escorted leave and activities for people being treated at the hospital were often cancelled.

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Ms Wilkes said they also witnessed "worrying behaviour" from some staff who were not providing the care and support people deserved.

"During our inspection, we saw two members of staff standing in front of a woman who was upset and crying, while other people were around her having a conversation.

"They didn't interact with her and the language they used was disrespectful and showed no care for the woman's obvious distress."

She added it was concerning that a registered manager, responsible for ensuring the hospital was complying with regulations, had not visited the wards in 18 months.

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It was "shocking" for CQC inspectors to see such a "significant shortfall of strong leadership", Ms Wilkes said.

In addition to Cheswold Park being placed in special measures, the hospital was also issued with two warning notices to improve the care and treatment being provided and to make improvements to its leave policy for people using the service.

The provider was also issued with a £4,000 fixed penalty notice for failing to have a registered manager in place, though one had since been appointed, the CQC said.

Ms Wilkes said: "Due to the poor care we found at Cheswold Park Hospital, we took enforcement action to ensure the provider makes significant, urgent improvements.

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"We will continue to monitor the hospital closely to check on the progress of those improvements, so we can be sure people receive the care they have a right to expect."

In a statement, Cheswold Park Hospital, which is run by Riverside Healthcare Ltd, said: "We are incredibly disappointed the hospital has been rated as inadequate by CQC following their visit last July.

"We have taken all the concerns raised seriously and acted to rectify these with speed."

It added that among several changes it had already made, it had increased ward-based staff, strengthened its leadership team and improved training.

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It said it had also dealt with two members of staff who were observed being disrespectful to a patient by the inspectors.

The involvement of patients had also been "strengthened at all levels of the organisation, including representation at hospital board governance meetings".

The hospital added that it hoped when CQC inspectors returned, they would "see the improvements made".

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