An independent report is published today (Friday 13 September) into provision at the Island’s acute mental health in-patient facility Manannan Court.
The external review was commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care in the light of historical concerns about services at Manannan Court’s Harbour Suite, and was conducted by Dr Tommy Dickinson, Independent Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Consultant. Dr Dickinson authored a report into acute in-patient facilities in 2015, which were then provided at Grianagh Court.
The terms of the review were to review the policies, practices and procedures operating at the Harbour Suite and to identify recommendations for further action if required. Overall, the report says: ‘The observations and findings during the visit to Manannan Court’s Harbour Suite reveal that many aspects have improved since the move from Grianagh Court. The environment appears much more fit for purpose and the safety of patients is clearly seen as a priority.’
Some of the positive points noted in the report include:
- Staff, including those in senior leadership roles, have been internally rotated into different clinical settings, and appear to be flourishing in their new roles. The report describes this as ‘Excellent’
- The previous recommendation that ‘any patient requiring Intermittent Observations should only be checked at arbitrary times, but spaced no further than the agreed time interval’ has been implemented. Again this is described as ‘Excellent’
- The training and development of staff in how best to care for people with a personality disorder ‘appears to have progressed exceptionally well’
- The training and development of staff in how to assess and manage the risk of suicide has made ‘reasonable progress’
The report also identifies some areas where further work is needed. These include:
- Patients’ care plans on the ward need urgent improvement. The care plans seen by Dr Dickinson did not appear to be evidence-based or developed in collaboration with the patient
- Some staff have been on the same ward for many years; this has been shown to have a detrimental effect and should be addressed by a programme of internal rotation
- The ‘Safewards’ approach has been adopted as recommended but more work remains to be done
Other recommendations include the introduction of a ‘robust’ system for obtaining interpreters, ensuring that any interpreter is recognised as such and can guarantee confidentially, and that a clearly visible statement outlining a zero tolerance policy of drugs on the ward should be installed.
Commenting on the report, Interim Chief Executive of Health and Social Care Angela Murray, said:
‘We are very grateful for the dedicated and comprehensive approach Dr Dickinson has taken when compiling this report. It’s pleasing to see that there are areas where we have clearly made huge steps forward in transforming the service. We also appreciate that there is still much more to be done. We will be giving the report very careful consideration and actively looking to implement the recommendations it makes. Overall I am confident that we are moving in the right direction.’
The Minister for Health and Social Care, David Ashford MHK, added:
‘I would also like to thank Dr Dickinson for this excellent report. We know that we can always improve, and this report will be instrumental in directing where our efforts need to be focussed in future. Not forgetting that we have come a very long way since we were made aware of concerns at Manannan Court, with the report highlighting those areas where we are already making very substantial progress.’