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Priory hospital for patients with eating disorders rated ‘outstanding’ for being caring in its first ever inspection

  • Priory Marlow Hospital rated ‘outstanding’ for being caring
  • The CQC rated the hospital as ‘good’ overall, and ‘good’ for being safe, effective, responsive and well-led
  • The hospital opened in April 2021; this was its first inspection
  • Inspectors praised the “culture of extremely compassionate person-centred care
  • One patient’s family member said the service had provided a “lifeline”
  • Leaders were “visible within the service and approachable for patients and staff”

A Priory hospital specialising in treating patients with eating disorders has been highly praised by the Care Quality Commission, which described it as being ‘outstanding’ for being caring.

The 14-bedded in-patient service for NHS patients was rated ‘good’ overall and in the remaining assessment categories: “are services safe”, “effective”, “responsive” and “well-led”.

The hospital opened in April 2021, which makes this achievement even more significant.

Inspectors said there was a “strong, well-established culture of extremely compassionate person-centred care” throughout the hospital. Staff recognised and respected the needs of each patient and found innovative ways to meet those needs. “Patients told us how they felt valued as individuals and said that staff frequently went ‘above and beyond’ to care for them.”

Staff were described as “kind and respectful”. Inspectors said, “A patient told us proudly how staff arranged for them to have equipment and materials for their favourite hobby brought in from their home and set up a dedicated room for them, so they could go to this room whenever they wanted to, and spend time each day doing this activity with staff. The patient told us how they found their hobby calming and therapeutic and that it had helped build trust with the staff.”

Staff spoke to inspectors in “glowing terms of their job satisfaction”. This “came from their pleasure and pride in seeing patients make progress”.

One patient’s family said the service had provided a “lifeline”. According to the report, families “valued the support they received during the admission process and the check-in calls from staff when patients were at home on leave. Staff offered support to families before, during and after patients’ home visits, which families found very valuable and which enabled them to better support their relative and talk through any problems with them.”

Meals were of a “high quality”, with chefs preparing food based on personalised meal plans compiled by dieticians. The chef received thank-you cards from patients.

Staff said that leaders were very supportive. Inspectors went on to say, “Leaders encouraged compassionate, inclusive and supportive relationships among staff so that they felt respected, valued and supported.”

The service had a full range of specialists to meet the needs of the patients on the ward, according to inspectors. They said, “There was a full multidisciplinary team made up of a consultant psychiatrist, a speciality doctor, a clinical psychologist, an occupational therapist and two therapy assistants, a family therapist, a dietician and a social worker… Patients had access to several psychological therapies and to a varied programme of activities seven days a week.”

Priory Marlow Hospital is located just outside High Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire. It provides a 14-bedded, specialist eating disorders service, commissioned by NHS England. The service supports men and women, aged 18 years and older, who are diagnosed with an eating disorder. The hospital is managed by Priory, the UK’s leading independent provider of mental health services.

Lewys Savill, Hospital Director at Priory Marlow Hospital, said: “I am really proud of our staff team who, throughout the pandemic, have gone above and beyond in all aspects of their support for the patients we care for. This report is a testament to that. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved with the service for the way they constantly strive for excellence, and to also thank the patients who we have the privilege to look after.”

Rebekah Cresswell, Priory CEO, said: “Lewys is an exceptional leader who is supported by a dedicated staff team that provides excellent care day-in day-out. Priory stands for quality of care and this is nowhere more evident than at Priory Marlow Hospital. The inspectors’ comments underline the hard work and dedication of front-line staff who have worked throughout a difficult time to provide the highest standards of care.”

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