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Mental health hospital celebrates after raising its CQC rating to ‘good’ in every single category

  • Priory Chelmsford Hospital is rated ‘good’ overall and in all categories by the Care Quality Commission, the health and social care watchdog
  • The hospital last received a rating of ‘requires improvement’ from the CQC
  • Inspectors say: “Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and understood the individual needs of patients”
  • “Staff were discreet, respectful, and responsive when caring for patients”
  • Recent changes to the leadership team led to improvements across the service, the CQC said

Priory’s Chelmsford Hospital is celebrating after the Care Quality Commission rated it as being good in all areas.

The CQC said the 59-bedded hospital, which treats NHS and private patients, including children, with mental health conditions, was good for being “safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led”.

At its last inspection, the hospital was rated as “requires improvement” overall, with “good” ratings in three out of the five assessment categories.

In its latest report, the CQC singled out the hospital’s new leadership for praise, and also praised the wider staff team for their “compassion and kindness”.

Inspectors said; “Staff developed recovery-oriented care plans informed by a comprehensive assessment. Staff provided a range of treatments suitable to the needs of the patients and in line with national guidance about best practice.

“Ward teams included, or had access to, the full range of specialists required to meet the needs of patients on the wards. Managers ensured that these staff received training, supervision and appraisal. The ward staff worked well together as a multi-disciplinary team and with those outside the ward who would have a role in providing aftercare.”

The CQC added:

  • Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and understood the individual needs of patients
  • Staff actively involved patients, families and carers in care decisions and the running of the service
  • The service managed beds well so that a bed was always available locally to a person who would benefit from admission, and patients were discharged promptly once their condition warranted this
  • The service was well led, and ward procedures ran smoothly. Recent changes to

the senior leadership team had led to improvements throughout the service

In their reviews of the hospital’s inpatient-based addiction services, and acute wards for adults of working age, and psychiatric intensive care, they said: “Staff were discreet, respectful, and responsive when caring for patients.”

Inspectors praised the CAMHS service for “encouraging young people to develop and maintain relationships both in the service and the wider community”. They also said, “the service organised trips out to attractions within the local community and took part in fundraising with young people to raise money for charity”.

Patients on the adult wards are able to personalise their bedrooms. Community meetings are held in all wards so patients can share their feedback and give suggestions for improvements.

Priory Chelmsford Hospital is located in Springfield Green, in Chelmsford, Essex. The hospital provides treatment for a diverse range of mental health difficulties including addictions, anxiety, depression and stress. It also provides therapy to individuals struggling with gender issues, low self-esteem, and those struggling with a diagnosis of personality disorder. The hospital is managed by Priory, the UK’s leading independent provider of mental health services.

Lucy Sewards, Hospital Director at Priory Chelmsford Hospital, said: “I am thrilled that the hospital is now rated ‘good’ across the board. This reflects the considerable work we have done to enhance the support we offer, and it has been done against the background of the pandemic which has been challenging for everyone, especially frontline healthcare staff. I want to take this opportunity to thank colleagues. Everyone should be proud of what we have achieved together.”

Rebekah Cresswell, Priory CEO, said: “Priory is about quality of care, and we do our best to ensure patients receive the very best care we can offer. The pandemic has made things challenging, but staff have gone above and beyond to ensure patients are looked after in the best way possible and I was really heartened to read this report and see that the CQC has recognized the progress made by Lucy and her team.”

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