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Bracton Centre, Bracton Lane, Dartford, 'requires improvement' according to health watchdog

A trust which looks after a mental health centre in Dartford where two members of staff were allegedly attacked has been told by a health watchdog it needs to make improvements.

England’s chief inspector of hospitals has rated the services provided by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust – which runs the Bracton Centre in Bracton Lane – as ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission in April. The report was published today.

Bracton Centre
Bracton Centre

A team of inspectors, which included a variety of specialists, visited hospital wards and community based mental health services over four days.

The trust provides mental health and social care services for adults of working age, older adults, children and adolescents and specialist learning disabilities services across parts of Kent and south east London including the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich.

The trust was rated as ‘good’ for being effective, caring and responsive to people’s needs but ‘requires improvement’ when it comes to safety and leadership.

Professor Edward Baker, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “At the time of inspection, CQC found that the trust had not adequately dealt with ligature points that can pose a danger to people at risk of suicide.

"When we visited the trust’s places of safety, CQC found that some areas were not fit for purpose and had several ligature points exposed.

“The trust can be proud of many of the services that it currently manages. Staff were caring and patient focused with a good understanding of their individual needs.”

Several areas of good practice were highlighted, including effective community nursing teams who were responsive to patients who needed care at the end of their lives.

There was also praise for forensic services, support for patients’ social needs such as housing, benefits and employment, and innovative support for young people by the community learning disability and autism service.

Inspectors have told the trust it must improve in some areas, including: ensuring all patients are protected from potential ligature risks; ensuring they have prompt processes in place to review and approve action plans following serious incidents that require investigations; and that steps are taken to manage the high bed occupancy levels on the acute and psychiatric intensive care units.

  • Myha Grant, 30, of Ellison Road, Streatham, London, is in custody awaiting his next court hearing charged with attempting to murder Francis Barrett and Julius Falomo at the Bracton Centre in Dartford on July 17, two alternative charges of wounding with intent and arson with intent to endanger life at the centre. A trial is fixed for December 12.
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