NHS: Care for older people with dementia and mental health problems at Charlton Lane Centre

The Care Quality Commission is today publishing its findings from an unannounced inspection carried out at Charlton Lane Hospital in March 2022. This facility cares for older people with dementia and functional mental health problems.

Unfortunately, upon inspection, the overall rating for the facility was reduced from good to requires improvement. The ratings for how safe, effective and well-led the service is also dropped from good to requires improvement. Caring dropped from outstanding to good, while responsive remains good.

CQC inspections provide vital insight on the operations of health and care services, and whilst this is disappointing, it provides important information which Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust can use to improve their services.

The issues that motivated this inspection had already been raised through the trust’s internal governance and freedom to speak up procedures, and I’m assured that action was being taken to rectify these issues prior to the inspection taking place and is ongoing.

I’ll ensure that I carefully scrutinise the activities the trust are making to improve the services that Charlton Lane provide.

From my understanding of the report, which will be available here later today, core themes surround the number of staff which is an issue facing NHS services across the country – especially due to the pressure staff are under as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing backlogs. Nothing I have read shows that the staff of the facility deserve anything less than our appreciation and respect for the hard work they do, and the caring attitude they carry it out with.

I’m assured that efforts continue to be made to improve the areas outlined in the CQC report, especially attempts to systematically improve recruitment and retention to ensure safe and appropriate staffing levels. I’ll watch those developments closely.

If anyone from the Forest of Dean has experience of the service at Charlton Lane, or other adult mental health or older peoples’ services in Gloucestershire, whether as a patient or a family member – I’d love to hear from you so I can make sure your views are represented at the Council of Governors. You can fill out the form below or contact me via email to contact@jacobbradfield.org.

You can read and download the full CQC report here:

Contact me about your experiences

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