"Unsatisfactory care"

My daughter was admitted to Huntercombe in

Jan 2016 suffering with early onset psychosis. My immediate impression of the hospital was not good and I felt very uneasy about leaving her there. I felt that the communication from the staff to both the young people and their parents was extremely poor to say the least. I witnessed a lunch time in the dining room where there was no interaction between a single member if staff and the young people. I felt extremely frustrated as I couldn't get any information regarding a treatment plan for my daughter and was constantly phoning or emailing the Drs for an update. I was actually told that my daughter was on a waiting list for therapy and should I have known this beforehand I would not have admitted her. The staff seem to be largely made up IOC agency staff most if whom do not speak English as there first language. This is not in any way a racist comment but I saw it as a barrier to care as communication is of paramount importance when treating those with a mental illness. My daughter was basically drugged when she became anxious using PRN medication whilst she was in their care and she made no progress at all during her 5 week stay. The final straw came when my daughter reported to me that she had been in bed all day and the staff had told me that she had been ti school and had a good day. I find it hard to believe that a nurse on duty could not be aware of the fact that a patient in their care had indeed been in bed all day and this would also suggest incorrect note keeping. We fought hard to get her moved to a hospital nearer home and I have to say that the care being received now bears no resemblance to the lack of offered in Huntercombe.

I have felt compelled to write this report in the light of recent news articles highlighting the lack of provision for adolescent mental health. We were traumatised by our experience and lack if support from this hospital and I hope that their practices will be changed in the light of this.

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Response from The Huntercombe Hospital - Maidenhead

Thank you for this feedback, and we are very sorry that you felt that our care fell short of your expectations.

Good communication with families and carers is vital and is a top priority for us.

If you have any suggestions for how we could work better together, based on your experience, please do get in touch so that we can discuss.

We are very open to all suggestions and welcome feedback.

We recognise that communicating with and involving the young people we care for is extremely important, and we are pleased to say that this is reflected in the 2015 CAMHS patient experience questionnaire which showed that 85% of patients felt supported by staff when they needed help and 81% felt that staff treated them with dignity and respect.

We will continue to strive to improve these figures, and again, any thoughts on how we could improve would be very welcome.

With regard to the use of agency staff, young people and parents have raised this concern to us and we have listened.

We too recognise that using agency staff is not ideal, and we have been working very hard to produce an innovative and unique staffing model.

In the last two months we have trialled and adopted the new staffing model, which means we do not use any agency support workers.

It is early days and we will of course monitor this new model, but I am extremely pleased that early reports are extremely positive.

We are very proud of our dedicated and committed team of support workers and we anticipate this new model will support them as well as our young people.

If you would like to discuss any of this any further, please do get in touch with Alastair Clegg, the Hospital Director, or Sophia Majaya, the Registered Manager on 01628 667881.

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