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Patients’ Watchdog reassured over Mental Health Services

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Following the publication of the critical report into the Tawel Fan Mental Health Unit in North Wales which highlighted the abuse and poor care of patients.

Members of the Cardiff & Vale CHC undertook unannounced inspections to a number of Mental Health wards across the Cardiff & Vale UHB to ascertain if the issues raised in the report written by Donna Ockenden were prevalent within our local Mental Health Services. The CHC used the recommendations of the Ockenden report to provide a backdrop these inspections.

Stephen Allen Chief Officer stated “It should be noted that these inspections were not carried out due to any specific concerns we had with local Mental Health services. However, after reading the report the CHC wanted immediate reassurance that the practices identified in the report were not replicated locally”. He went on to say “CHC Members did find some issues on the wards inspected. However, there was no evidence that the key issues raised in the Ockenden Report were apparent in local Mental Health Services and this report will provide much needed reassurance to current service users, relatives and the wider public”.

The report has been received by the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board and a formal response to the CHC is due shortly. Abigail Harris, Executive Director at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: “We welcome this proactive approach by the CHC in response to issues regarding mental health services in Wales. The Report shows that the public can be reassured about the quality of provision across these five centres in Cardiff and the Vale. In particular it was pleasing to note the many positive comments from patients about the care they received from the staff. The Report will now be discussed internally with the intention to share best practice and address the small number of areas where we could improve things.”

Community Health Councils (CHC) is the only statutory independent Patients’ “Watchdog” for the NHS in Wales. Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan CHC oversees the all aspects of the NHS within Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan. The seven regional Community Health Councils are regulated and monitored by The Board of Community Health Councils.

Read the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Report on Visits to Mental Health Units – June 2015.

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