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Here at Priory Group, we set out to deliver the highest quality care and support to our service users. We expect all of our colleagues to deliver the highest standards of support, care and treatment. We help our colleagues to do this by facilitating a culture of transparency and openness, promoting evidence-based practice and enabling continuous learning and improvement opportunities.

Our services are effectively regulated by our internal divisional teams, our corporate teams, and our external regulators, commissioners and stakeholders. We also use the feedback from those who use our services, to make improvements.

We measure progress by using reliable data that measures outcomes, effectiveness and service user experience. We ensure a uniform approach across Priory, through our divisional management structure, whereby our divisions each have their own chief operating officer (COO) and senior management team. Our corporate teams are there to support our divisional teams in delivering the safety, quality and compliance agenda.

Safe and effective services

Our absolute priority is to make sure we operate safe and effective services and that all staff understand what is required of them to make that happen. We recognise that a strong safety culture is needed at all levels.

We have a comprehensive suite of policies to ensure staff are working consistently and in accordance with legislation and best practice. The policies are easily accessible and kept-up-to-date by a dedicated team of staff. We have in place communication systems and site safety and governance meetings at our homes and hospitals to ensure appropriate information sharing and management of risk.

At board level there is a comprehensive review each month by the operational board and its sub-committees of all safety and risk matters.  Structured reports in agreed formats are generated so that information and decision-making is consistent.  We have a robust incident reporting culture which enables immediate steps to be taken to manage risk and/or improve patient, staff or environmental safety where needed.

Our internal compliance teams audit our homes and hospitals against the requirements laid out by our regulators and inspect against exactly the same standards to ensure consistency. Action plans are developed and support provided until improvements are embedded.

We also have a dedicated, independent team that investigates all serious incidents and we aim to circulate serious incident reports to families and statutory agencies within 60 days. We liaise with our service users and their families as part of investigation processes and encourage them to make comments on our reports. We co-operate fully with all enquiries from the police, safeguarding, commissioners or regulators as appropriate, following a serious incident. Lessons learned from all incidents are shared between staff and sites on a regular basis and improvements monitored and audited.

We strive to ensure each home and hospital has the correct amount of staff and the right skill and seniority mix for each shift. Our staffing ratios accord with best practice or national guidance (for instance, our CAMHS units are staffed in accordance with QNIC guidelines) and there are clear escalation and support procedures when staff call in sick, to ensure appropriate cover. We have a wide pool of talent to draw on, consisting of permanent staff and bank staff. We only use agency staff where there is no alternative and we only use trusted agency suppliers who we contract with on our own terms and conditions.

We also recognise that staff work best when they have opportunities to progress and develop themselves and we have in place development opportunities for all of our staff regardless of their role. All staff have access to our Academy platform, which allocates a unique learning and development programme to each individual depending on their role. Training completion rates are frequently monitored to ensure compliance rates are as high as possible. All staff must attend certain mandatory modules such as emergency first aid at work training. Training compliance rates are routinely monitored.

We ensure that our facilities are well-maintained, fit for purpose and accord with regulatory requirements and expectations. We use an allocated budget to maintain, develop and refurbish our facilities with the focus on making sure our units are safe. The requirement for gender separation is also taken into account for any refurbishment, or any service change.

Policies and training

In addition to our policies and training, we have developed our own ‘safer room’ specification for all hospitals, with a view to ensuring as many fixtures and fittings as possible conform to an agreed reduced-ligature risk specification (for example, push button taps). 

To enhance the safety of our patients and staff we have installed the Care Protect monitoring system across all our CAMHS services and some of our adult services. This is a sensor-based patient monitoring system to support risk management and observation procedures by staff. Qualified independent third parties monitor recordings in real-time and send immediate alerts to site staff where self-harming or other risky behaviour is observed.

We have in place operational safety initiatives, some of which stem from regulatory requirements and some of which are generated internally in line with our commitment to continuous improvement.  We are always thinking about and looking for ways to enhance the safety of our service users and staff, for example at the beginning of each month we have a ‘Safety First’ initiative, which focuses on a particular aspect of service user care, for example the safe use of hoists and slings.

Because of the hard work and commitment of all our staff teams across all our 84 CQC-registered hospitals, 87% of our sites are rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, compared to 78% in the NHS or other independent providers. We are proud of this achievement, which is a testament to our unrelenting focus on safety and quality.

Achieving positive outcomes, coupled with the experiences of our service users and staff, are at the heart of everything that we do. This approach is also reflective of the national agenda for quality.

Contact us

For further information please contact David Watts, Director of Risk Management: telephone 020 7605 0923 or email davidwatts@priorygroup.com.

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Our Group Medical Director, Adrian Cree, speaks to us about Priory's new Clinical, and Suicide Prevention Strategy. He explains the over-arching themes and aims of each strategy.

Get in Touch Today

Receiving your feedback and your ideas on how we can improve our services is really important to Priory. To share your thoughts, please call 01325 331266 Ext 5773 or 5767, alternatively click here to complete the online form

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