Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership has welcomed two reports from Mental Welfare Commission Scotland following visits to learning disability inpatient services in Dundee.
The Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) visited the Learning Disability Assessment Unit (LDAU) at Carseview Centre in July where patients spoke positively to inspectors about the care and support provided by staff in the 10-bed ward.
The report noted that care plans were person-centred and related to each individual patient’s assessed needs, and that there is input from a range of different professionals including independent sector care providers.
The inspectors also found that patients in the LDAU continue to have good access to independent advocacy support and a number of individuals are engaging in activities in the community with support workers from community-based organisations. Patients talked about a range of activities they took part in and inspectors saw that there are art and baking groups, gardening groups, breakfast sessions, art therapy groups and other groups and activities focusing on physical exercises and escorted walks.
The report highlighted that there had been some difficulties recruiting learning disability nurses to fill vacancies in the unit but that new staff were due to start in the near future. Since the visit, the ward now has a permanent senior charge nurse, two charge nurses and several newly qualified staff nurses in post.
Flats 1, 2 and 3 at Bridgefoot House, Strathmartine Centre also hosted a visit from the MWC in August. Flat 1 is an eight-bed low-secure inpatient environment for male patients with learning disabilities and offending behaviour. Flat 2/3 is a 10-bed learning disability behavioural support and intervention unit.
Patients were positive about the care and support they were receiving on a day-to-day basis from nurses in the wards. Several patients told inspectors about how they felt involved in decisions about their treatment and described a range of activities they were able to engage in within the Strathmartine Centre and in the community.
Patients also said that staff responded well to any issues raised and the visiting team observed supportive interactions between staff and patients which reinforced the patients’ feedback.
The inspectors heard that some patients had difficulties adjusting to a new environment as patients from another ward on the Strathmartine site had been moved into the flats in Bridgeview House.
The MWC acknowledged that there are plans to transfer inpatient learning disability services to improved accommodation at Murray Royal Hospital in the future. In the meantime they asked that managers minimise the effect of the ward changes on each individual patient. The service has acted on this recommendation by making a number of changes to improve the patient and staff experience.
Chief Officer for Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership Gordon Paterson said, “I am pleased to see these positive comments from patients, families and inspectors from the MWC about the high-quality care provided by our dedicated and hard working staff in learning disability services.
“We will continue to make improvements to our services for people with learning disabilities and their families across Tayside.”