Safety is the key question that is most often rated as requiring improvement or inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC have recently reported major concerns over patient safety and risk assessments in mental health services and found that improvements need to made in relation to risk assessment and management

The study, called 'The State of care in mental health services 2014 to 2017', outlined the CQC’s findings from its programme of comprehensive inspections of services.

Areas of concern include:

  • Technology and IT recording of risk; improvement needs to made in relation to risk assessment and management
  • The physical environment of many mental health wards located in older buildings are not designed to meet the needs of acute patients
  • Some services struggle to ensure wards are safely staffed at all times
  • Staff in both inpatient and community services are not always managing medicines safely
  • Crisis care services need to improve their high-quality risk assessments
  • Lone working practices need to be improved so service providers do all they can to ensure staff safety

The commission said that although there had been improvements in safety across some services when they were re-evaluated, only 10 of the 25 trusts were able to improve their overall safety rating.

The full report can be found on the following website.