"Psychiatric Outpatients Department, QMC"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

(as a service user),

We attended the Adult Mental Health Development Forum that the Involvement Centre, Nottingham runs. It has changed recently so we now visit the AMH (Adult Mental Health) sites and get a chance to discuss the issues that are facing that area. A recent meeting took place at Psychiatric Outpatients Department, QMC, and was the first time that the group had visited. It was a fantastic meeting with lots of great ideas and a real honesty about the problems that faced AMH Services operating out of QMC.

The first topic we spoke about was maintenance. We thought we would go onto speak about lots of other topics that afternoon, but each subject seemed to return to maintenance.

Something that the group wasn’t aware of was that maintenance of the wards is not carried out by Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust but the QMC Trust who own the building. Because of this, Nott’s Healthcare wards can sometimes feel second best and not on the priority jobs list when things need doing.

People in the group talked about their own experience of being on a mental health ward at QMC and how their experience of maintenance coming onto the wards was that they tried to do any job as quickly as possible because they felt uncomfortable on a mental health ward. It was felt that the stigma of mental health needed to be tackled and maybe these members of staff could benefit from some form of mental health awareness training.

The maintenance staff then don’t feedback about the work they’ve done meaning that staff don’t know if it’s been done properly. The group thought that there should be a paper for staff to sign to say the work has been done to their satisfaction and that a job could/could not be considered finished.

One of the most shocking stories the group heard was about a shower that had been sealed off because of mould. The mould is currently being tested to see what it is but preliminary lab results have shown some harmful bacterial cultures. If left untreated the group were very concerned this could spread to other areas of the ward putting more patients at risk. The room in question has been sealed off and urgent works requests have been forwarded to rectify this problem. Who is meant to do the maintenance work and whose responsibility it is, is still being worked out in regards to the shower room. This has delayed the timely correction of this serious problem and has occurred in the past with other maintenance problems across the mental health wards. It would appear the two Trusts do not work together efficiently.

There are other issues and concerns around locking off corridors and the upkeep of the garden that were discussed and that we will return to when next at QMC.

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Response from Jane Danforth, Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Jane Danforth

Thank you for posting your feedback. You have raised a number of issues that need addressing. I will contact QMC and the ward manager to ensure these concerns are passed on to the appropriate people and ask them to respond on the PO site.

The stigma around mental health you mentioned regarding the maintenance staff needs more discussion. If staff are feeling uncomfortable Mental Health awareness training can be arranged. This is a good way of raising awareness and communication between the two Trusts whilst hopefully improving the level of satisfaction of any work undertaken on the ward.

Please keep us updated on your progress; it is good to hear that the Adult Mental Health Development Forum is tackling these important issues.

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Response from Jane Danforth, Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Jane Danforth

Hello again.

I have had a chat with PALS ( patient advice & liaison service) about your posting. They would be happy to assist you with the issues that focus on the environment. If one of the group would like to contact our PALS Officer please call 0800 015 3367 between 9am and 5pm. For out of hours there is an answer machine or e-mail PALS@nottshc.nhs.uk

I have also been in touch with key staff in our Trust and at QMC about the other issues your raised and hope to have a response for you soon.

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Response from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

The shower was sealed off due to the lack of ventilation which subsequently resulted in the mould forming. This has now been resolved. There will be a more detailed reply soon to explain what has been done.

With regards to the general maintenance it is NUH’s aim to provide clean, safe and maintained accommodation.

Thank you for your feedback

Terry Dean C.Eng, MSc, B.Eng(Hons)

Head of Estates & Facilities (Local Services)

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for your feedback. The staff on the AMH wards at the QMC spend a considerable amount of time reporting maintenance issues and ensuring the necessary repairs and improvements to the environment are completed.

The ward environment co-ordinators and the Matron meet with both NUH and NHCT Estates managers every month and conduct a monthly walk around to inspect the ward environments and chase up outstanding works of maintenance needed. This provides a good audit trail which is then reported back at service level agreement meetings between NUH and NHCT. The service level agreement meetings have recently been redeveloped to provide greater effectiveness in monitoring and managing non-compliance and delays shown in NUH responses to the maintenance needs of the AMH wards. These revamped meetings will be closely monitored by NHCT Estates managers to ensure the AMH wards are getting the level of service needed.

The QMC matron and environment co-ordinators continue to liaise closely with the NHCT SLA monitoring officer to highlight delayed maintenance and speed up responses.

Work has started on the shower room on A42 and is being lead by NHCT Estates. Before works began, assessment needed to occur on the sources of the problems which were causing the mould and this has taken place and highlighted that unnecessary door seals needed to be removed, deep cleaning was needed along with a correction to the fabrics and ventilation of the room to prevent further problems.

NUH estates and facilities employees work across many departments of the QMC. The domestic services at QMC work well with the AMH wards and have a great rapport and relationship with both patients and staff, however there may be occasions when NUH staff who are unfamiliar with the AMH wards may feel uncomfortable or wary of working with AMH inpatient areas.

The QMC ward managers and matron are going to undertake a piece of work exploring this problem to report back to service managers and general manager and gain involvement in devising an action plan to address this, involving NUH in this project.

Mnay thanks for raising these issues. I hope you will feel reassured that changes and improvements are being made.

Vickie Howard

Modern Matron, Adult Mental Health & Service Manager Perinatal Services

Response from Jane Danforth, Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

picture of Jane Danforth

Hi Vickie,

A member of staff read your posting and thought that other people reading the posting may not know what the abbreviations mean.

Would you be able to let us know and post it on the site? In this way we can let people know what department or service is involved and it helps to make our information more accessible.

Thank you for your detailed response.

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Response from Vickie Howard, Modern Matron Adult Mental Health & Perinatal Service Manager Perinatal Services , Queens Medical Centre, Nottinghamshire Healthcarer NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Apologies, the abbreviations are as follows;

SLA - service level agreement

NHCT - Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

NUH - Nottingham University Hospitals Trust

AMH - Adult Mental Health

QMC - Queens Medical Centre

Best wishes

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