Healthwatch Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark contributed to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspector information pack prior to their inspection of South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Trust in the week beginning 21st September 2015.
This document summarises the contribution, which was based on quality issues raised by patients and families relating to SLaM services between August 2014 and August 2015.
Staff behaviour and involvement of carers: Positive professional behaviours (at Ladywell Unit and some Maudsley units) included empathy, appropriate introductions and ability to behave calmly and in a controlled, measured way. This made people feel confident in the care provided and helped families to be involved.
Many people highlighted the exceptional role of individual staff, such as psychiatrists. Traits included honesty, compassion, confidence, and making the patient comfortable.
The activity room at the Maudsley was praised as helping to relieve pressure and giving patients and relatives somewhere a means to engage.
We gave feedback to the service on where there is room for improvement.
- Staff behaviour: Some negative experiences of staff being unresponsive and dismissive towards patients. Comments were also made about staff communicating amongst themselves, in a language not understood by patients.
- Staff communication: Two cases of poor communication about clinical care were reported, leading to patients feeling unable to ask questions or refusing to take medications.
- Transport and transfer: One relative felt that there was little information around transfer between services. Closer access to acute hospitals and easier emergency access to community psychiatry.
Waiting times for treatment: Developmental interventions (e.g. mindfulness) could take a long time to access and waiting times were seen to depend on the attitude and contacts of a patient’s GP. Long waiting times following referrals to the CMHTs, both before and after the pre-assessment.