NHS Grampian has been told to make changes to improve the privacy and dignity of patients on a Moray mental health ward.
Concerns have been raised by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland about a lack of locks on some bedrooms and bathrooms at Ward 4 at Dr Gray’s Hospital.
Inspectors discovered the issue had been escalated to senior managers after visiting the Elgin unit in May.
Meanwhile, concerns have also been raised by staff and patients about a lack of ventilation to reduce the risk of Covid.
What did inspectors find?
Ward 4 at Dr Gray’s is an 18-bed acute psychiatric ward for adults.
However, it also provides space for older adults as well as young people with a learning disability or autism who have a mental health diagnosis.
Inspectors found patients were being well supported throughout their treatment with staff having good links with agencies Circles Advocacy, the Moray Wellbeing Hub and SAMH.
However, concerns have been raised that patients have been unable to access a dedicated garden from the first-floor ward.
The issue has been described as having a “significant impact” on patients, particularly at the beginning of lockdown.
A lack of ventilation and fresh air was raised by both staff and patients with windows sealed and unable to be opened.
What recommendations have been made?
The report has made a recommendation work is done to improve the “privacy, dignity and wellbeing” of patients.
It adds: “We heard that the ward has recently undergone some work to address potential ligature points and further work is to be completed.
“In some situations this has resulted in patients having no privacy in their rooms as there are no locks on the doors to their bedrooms or the bathrooms.
“This issue has been escalated to the senior manager on the NHS Grampian Ligature work programme.
“We were told that discussions taken place at board level on different options for the ward so a full refurbishment can take place. We are keen to be kept updated of this.”
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland requires a response to the Dr Gray’s Hospital recommendation that has been made within three months.
A NHS Grampian spokesman said: “We have received the report and are examining its findings.”