Grand Slam for the BHFT
24 July 2008
BHFT's provision of mental health service on acute wards goes beyond the minimum requirements and the reasonable expectations of service users and the public.
Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust received a rating level 3 from the Healthcare Commission (HCC) for its acute inpatient mental health services. Level 3 means that the BHFT’s provision of mental health service on acute wards goes beyond the minimum requirements and the reasonable expectations of service users and the public.
Philippa Slinger, Chief Executive Officer of the BHFT said,
“We are delighted to have received a good score from the Healthcare Commission for our acute inpatient wards. We were tested on a number of areas including systems to ensure we were effective, providing information to service users and meeting physical health needs. We are very proud of this result and it is a great reward for the inpatient staff who work very hard to ensure that people have the best experience possible when they have to come into hospital”.
To carry out the review Acute Care Forum groups were set up. These were groups of medical personnel, service users, carers and administrative staff who were tasked with assessing and marking the practice on the wards against the criteria laid down by the HCC. Results from this were sent to external assessors to check, visit the wards and review the whole process before a final submission was made to the HCC.
Geoff Brennan, Nurse Consultant in West Berkshire said,
“This is the first HCC review of inpatient services and required a lot of assistance from many quarters to complete. While we are very pleased at the positive validation from an external source, we are also aware of the need for a continuing commitment from staff, patients, and the organization to maintain the positives. We also need to continue to be courageous in addressing our weaknesses. I see this as primarily the ward staff’s result and would offer my deep thanks for their ongoing commitment, skill and compassion in a very challenging care environment.”
In addition to the high rating from the HCC, Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust also achieved Accreditation for Acute Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS), awarded by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP). This is a new initiative from the RCPs’ Centre for Quality Improvement to identify and acknowledge wards that have high standards of organization and service user care. Accreditation is given after both a thorough internal and external review of processes in acute inpatient wards has been executed. The review process is also used to support and enable wards to achieve accreditation status.
Andrew Burgess, Director of Nursing at BHFT said,
” The HCC review proves that BHFT provides a high standard of care for its service users. However, we are not resting on our laurels as we achieved lower scores on certain processes in the review and are now set on resolving these within the immediate future. All the staff on our wards work aspire to excellence not just achieving baseline standards. Our next phase of development is to push forward in the autumn to achieve AIMS accreditation status in the older adult wards.”
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