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Staffing levels are not adequate at a Dorchester unit
10:49am Sunday 13th January 2013 in Latest
FORSTON Clinic is among NHS hospitals and units failing to operate with safe staffing levels, according to new reports.
The Labour Party has released details of 26 healthcare providers issued with warnings by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog group.
A report for the CQC has said that staffing levels are among the areas of improvement needed at the complex.
It said that management is fine but improvement is needed in such areas as treating people with respect and involving them in their care and providing care, treatment and support which people's needs.
It comes as details emerged that the Minterne Ward at Forston has been closed temporarily.
Patients have been moved to other units in the county and no admissions have taken place since December.
A spokesman for the CQC said that the information about staffing levels was not new.
The running of Forston is the responsibility of Dorset HealthCare.
Director for mental health services at Dorset HealthCare James Barton said: “The Minterne Ward at the Forston Clinic closed to admissions at the end of last year in order for the Trust to invest £500,000 in upgrading the ward environment.
"We are using this period, whilst the ward is closed, to make sure that our staffing levels are bolstered before the ward reopens. This is in response to the recent observations made by the Care Quality Commission, following its inspection.
“We are in the process of recruiting the equivalent of 13.3 full time staff and, when the ward reopens, we will have a total of 14 nursing and support staff working across three shift patterns each day.
“Forston Clinic’s other mental health ward, Melstock Ward, will also benefit from this increase in staff numbers, with a planned total of 13 frontline staff caring for patients every day. In total, the two wards (one with 14 beds and one with 12 beds) will employ the equivalent of 55.85 full time staff once the recruitment process is complete.
“Providing inpatient care that we can be proud of is really important to us and that is why we took the decision to temporarily divert patient admissions while these improvements take place.”