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Ward at Cornhill told to make improvements

Aberdeen's Cornhill Hospital.
Aberdeen's Cornhill Hospital.

A ward at the north-east’s main mental health hospital has been told to make improvements following an unannounced inspection – with staffing levels among areas of concern.

Investigators from the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland visited the Eden Ward at Aberdeen’s Royal Cornhill Hospital on January 16.

It is understood there had been complaints made by some patients at the ten-bed ward, which cares for patients suffering from eating disorders from Tayside to Shetland and the Western Isles.

In the wake of the visit, inspectors have drawn up a list of four recommendations- including regularly auditing the index of mental health act documentation and consent to treatment forms.

Other recommendations include ensuring that policies regarding access to telephones apply to everyone equally and ensuring staffing of the ward is sufficient.

Inspectors were, however, positive about the ward’s handling of recovery plans, the availability of psychological therapies, physiotherapy, dietetics, family therapy and occupational therapy and the ward’s general cleanliness.

And they said there had been an overall improvement since their last visit.

The report reads: “One patient complained that due to her exceeding the maximum number of days in the previous 12 months on suspension of detention, she was unable to go on a home visit over the winter holiday period.

“Some patients reported issues with access to mobile phones, tablets and Skype.

“There is a new policy in place where these are only permitted to be used under supervision, but the rule is not the same for everyone.

“Some felt that the unit was understaffed and that this could lead to delays and cancellations of small but important events such as walks in the grounds. “

An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “We have accepted the Mental Welfare Commission’s recommendations, which we will discuss with the rest of the north of Scotland network and implement in full.​“

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