A MENTAL health hospital in Hexham is to exit special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Cygnet Hospital, which provides care for women with complex mental health needs, has now been rated as good.

The independent hospital had been rated as inadequate and placed into special measures in May 2019 following significant concerns about the safety and leadership of the service.

The service previously provided care for adults with a learning disability or autistic people. It closed in September 2019 and re-opened in October 2020 with a new leadership team to provide acute admission and psychiatric intensive care wards.

A focused inspection was carried out in April 2021 in response to whistleblowing concerns regarding patient safety. The service was not rated at this inspection.

When inspectors returned in March this year, they found that widespread improvements had been made and the service can now exit special measures.

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The service is now rated as good overall and for being effective, caring, responsive and well-led. It is rated as requires improvement for being safe.

Hexham Courant: Members of staff at Cygnet Hospital Hexham.Members of staff at Cygnet Hospital Hexham.

Brian Cranna, CQC’s head of hospital inspection, said: “When inspectors re-visited Cygnet Hospital Hexham, it was clear that the new team and leadership were delivering good care to women at the new services provided. We found managers at all levels had the right skills and abilities to run a service providing high-quality care. They were enthusiastic and passionate about the improvements they had made.

“Since the previous inspection, a lot of important changes across the hospital have been made to improve patient care. Observations are now carried out safely, blind spots are prevented with mirrors and most wards are now fitted with anti-ligature facilities.

“In addition, permanent staff assessed and managed risks to patients well. Information on patient risks were displayed on boards in the staff office and were regularly discussed and communicated to staff.

“We observed kind and supportive staff who involved people in their care plans and treatment. They supported people to make decisions for themselves and encouraged them to attend activities within the community to help with their well-being.

“We are pleased that the hard work and strong commitment from all staff to deliver improved services has resulted in higher standards of care for people. The provider must now ensure these positive changes are sustained.”

Anthony Saiger, Hospital Manager at Cygnet Hospital Hexham said: “It’s been hard work from a lot of caring and supportive staff to get to this point. The team have shown admirable dedication and motivation to provide an excellent, supportive environment for our service users. I am absolutely over the moon with this result as we truly want a safe and high-quality environment for the women we care for.”

He added: “We will now utilise this feedback to continually grow and build quality in every aspect of the hospital to benefit our service users and families for many years come.”