A health watchdog has raised concerns over patient care files and treatment plans at the Highlands main psychiatric hospital.
Inspectors from the Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) visited the Willows Ward at New Craigs Hospital in Inverness – a six-bed mixed-sex learning disability treatment unit.
Its report stated: “The care plans covered physical and mental health care, and there were numerous care plans in the files, some of which were discontinued and no longer relevant.
“Patient records were difficult to navigate. It was not straightforward to ascertain which interventions and which care plans remained relevant, which goals had been achieved, and what care plans were pertinent to the care being delivered on the day.
“We were advised that there has been no administration input to the ward and there is currently no senior charge nurse.”
In its recommendation, the MWC said: “Managers should ensure that care files contain only current and relevant care plans, and include a summative evaluation indicating the effectiveness of the interventions.
“We will escalate this concern to senior managers.”
Highland Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said: “It is well known that New Craigs is struggling due to staff shortages and this report highlights the pinch points on this particular ward.
“Having no administrative input and no senior charge nurse is extremely worrying and I hope senior managers act quickly.”
Conservative MSP Edward Mountain added: “It is clear to me that whilst there is a professional team in place there just aren’t enough of them, or indeed beds. These fundamental issues mean that many patients don’t get care when they first need it.
“The result is that their health deteriorates and they only get treated when their situation becomes critical.”