Hospitals under the Black County Partnership NHS Foundation Trust were ordered to improve their conditions, after an investigation raised concerns that the Trust was “not always ensuring patients were safe”.

Patient wellbeing and safety is major goal for most NHS Hospital Trusts, and everyone is entitled to receive a certain level of care from a hospital. The inspectors highlighted issues with the storage of medicine and the low staffing levels. The wards were cited as being in a “poor state” due to damaged walls, carpets and furniture.

The Trust provides mental health and learning disability services across Black Country – although the level of caring and responsiveness were noted to be good, the overall rating showed that the Trust requires improvement.

The deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: “Our inspectors found the Trust must make a number of improvements to bring its services up to a level that would earn a rating of Good overall.”

“In particular, we were concerned that the trust was not always ensuring that patients were safe by providing and maintaining emergency equipment or managing and storing medication properly”.

The trust also needed to introduce a robust system for managing patient records.

“Despite these concerns, we found a number of areas of good practice across Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. This included how young people were involved in making decisions about their care and that the trust had also employed a nurse who spoke four Asian languages to lead on work with black and minority ethnic communities.”

31 out of 50 services provided by the Trust were rated as “good” with three ratings as “outstanding” however the concerns that were highlighted serve as a clear message about the duty on the Trust to ensure patient safety.

Medicine that has not been stored properly, and unacceptably low levels of staff can create an unsafe environment for patients, causing their safety to be compromised.

The outcome of the investigation shows how important patient safety is to NHS Trusts.


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