PSYCHIATRIC wards run by a Bradford care trust have made “significant advances”, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) - but some concerns remain.

The health watchdog visited wards at the Airedale Centre for Mental Health and Lynfield Mount Hospital in September.

This was to follow up on a Warning Notice issued to the Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust earlier this year.

A CQC spokesperson said: “The inspection focused on the key questions are services safe and well-led? Due to the nature of the focused inspection the rating of Inadequate is unchanged. Whilst inspectors noted some concerns remained, significant advances had been made and safety of the service had improved.”

In looking at the safety of the service, inspectors said staff did not always complete environmental checks or take action to reduce all risks they identified.

“Whilst staff had a comprehensive knowledge of ligature risks on all the wards, the assessment of ligature risk on all wards had improved but did not always reflect the current ligature risks on the ward,” inspectors said.

“Risk management plans did not always tell staff how to respond to risks identified in patient risk assessments.Risk management plans were not always personalised or specific to the risks identified in the risk assessment. Staff did not always record patient leave from the ward in line with the trust policy.”

On one ward there were three bottles of controlled drugs that had not been disposed of and on another ward, there was a bottle of controlled drugs with no date of opening.

However, wards were said to be safer, clean, well equipped, well furnished, mostly well-maintained and fit for purpose. Most staff had completed mandatory training, which was comprehensive and met the

needs of patients and staff, while managers investigated incidents and shared lessons learned.

“When things went wrong, staff apologised and gave patients honest information and suitable support,” said the report. Inspectors said there had been “significant improvements”, but some areas of concern remained.

It has been told it must improve in five areas - staff must complete documentation fully when patients go on leave from the ward, the ward environment must be reviewed regularly and action taken in response to issues, ligature risk assessments must reflect all ligature risks, patients must have a risk management plan that addresses the risks identified in their assessments and is person centred, while systems and processes to assess, monitor and improve quality and safety must continue to be embedded.

Brent Kilmurray, Chief Executive at the Trust, said: “The report rightly recognises the significant and rapid improvements that we have made across our wards and equally importantly, the positive feedback from people who are using our services. The improvements are down to the hard work and commitment of all the staff involved and our new approach to continuous quality improvement, to improve services for our local communities.”