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Isle of Wight NHS Trust in special measures.


The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has been placed in special measures after inspectors found some mental health patients were at risk of harm.

The trust was rated as inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that found unsafe mental health services, widespread understaffing and a "subtle culture of bullying.”

The CQC said the island's "inadequate" ambulance service, mental health provision and the trust leadership were most at fault. Community health and acute hospital services were rated as "requiring improvement.”

Inspectors, who visited the trust in November 2016, found community mental health services had been wrongly restricted to patients with the most complex and urgent needs.

On hospital wards, mental health patients had access to electrical cupboards, live broken electrical sockets, continually failing personal alarm systems and ligature points.

The CQC imposed an urgent improvement notice because of the risk of patient harm.

At St Mary's Hospital in Newport, the watchdog found the emergency department did not meet minimum registered nursing levels for safe care.

Staff at the ambulance service, also run by the trust, were also found to be working with an unreliable mobile data system which sometimes froze, leaving them with no navigation system or patient details.

An ambulance station was deemed to be "not secure", with the trust taking more than a year to replace a garage door.

The trust’s chief executive, Karen Baker, stood down before publication of the CQC report.

The trust apologised for "letting down patients and the community.” Trust chair, Eve Richardson, said they accepted the report without reservation and added: "Our sole focus now is to absorb the lessons within this report, to develop, with our partners, an effective and comprehensive improvement programme and to ensure it is implemented as swiftly as possible."

The trust said it had already started making improvements including reducing agency staff, recruiting a director of human resources and changing arrangements to prevent multiple bed moves for patients.

A total of £600,000 had also been set aside for improvements to buildings used by mental health services.

NHS Improvement said it had appointed a director to work with the trust as part of a package of support measures.