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‘Outstanding’ rating for local hospital which offers specialist care for mental health patients

  • Inspectors praised the service for its high levels of experience, capacity and capability which led to excellent and sustainable care
  • Patients and their families said staff were invested in the welfare of patients and went above and beyond
  • The ‘outstanding’ rating puts the hospital in the top 7% of mental health services in England and top 6% of independent mental health hospitals

A specialist hospital for patients with mental health conditions, The Priory Middleton St George Hospital, Darlington, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by The Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Priory Middleton St George Hospital has 70 beds over five wards. This comprises 22 acute beds, 20 specialist beds for females with personality disorders and 28 rehabilitation and recovery beds.

The CQC gave the service – which provides care for inpatients with complex needs and behaviours - top marks for being ‘caring’ and ‘well-led’, and ‘good’ for three other categories – responsive, effective and safe. The CQC inspects and regulates health and social care in England.

In its review of the “are the services caring? category”, the CQC said: “Staff on all wards made an effort to get to know the patients and their cultural, religious and social needs. Individual needs were discussed, and staff helped patients understand how to prevent their condition from impacting their daily activities.”

Inspectors reported that patients had told them that staff treated them well and were invested in their welfare and “did far more than just their job role”.

The inspectors added; “The long stay/rehabilitation wards had a bright and homely feel with a calming and relaxing environment.”

The Priory Hospital Middleton St George is a specialist independent mental health service based in the North East of England. The service is part of the Priory Group of mental healthcare specialists. The hospital provides specialist care and treatment for adults with complex mental health needs and behaviours that challenge.

In response to the service being “well-led”, the CQC said; “Staff felt respected and supported through all management levels. Staff of all grades and professions told us they felt part of a team, their opinion was valued and treated with equal respect… annual awards were given to staff members in recognition of their service and contribution.”

The CQC went on to say, “Due to the emergency nature of admission… staff made donations to ensure that patients had access to clothing and other essentials items. This was particularly important on the acute ward and was exceptionally well-received by patients on the ward.”

Paul Walsh, Registered Manager, said: “We are all very proud of what we have achieved here at Middleton St George. A rating of ‘outstanding’ overall is something that the team can take great heart from – recognition such as this is very gratifying. To be considered as ‘outstanding’ in the “caring” and “well-led” categories truly displays the quality of care our staff deliver.”

Dr Sylvia Tang, Chief Executive of Priory Healthcare, said: “This report reflects the positive feedback received from patients and their relatives and is a huge testament to the staff that work hard every day to make a difference to those they care for. Every member of staff has played their part, striving to bring meaningful change, and the best quality of life, to patients who are at the heart of everything we do.”



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About Priory Group

The Priory Group is the leading provider of behavioural care in the UK, caring for around 30,000 people a year for conditions including depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders and self-harming. The Group is organised into three divisions – healthcare, education and children’s services, and adult care. The Priory Group is owned by NASDAQ-listed Acadia Healthcare, which is recognised as a global leader in behavioural health.

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