Response to CQC report on Priory Cheadle Royal Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Date: 1st June 2023

In response to a CQC inspection report on Priory Cheadle Royal Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHs)

Rebekah Cresswell - Priory CEO

Rebekah Cresswell, Priory CEO said:

“We are disappointed with the CQC’s overall rating which does not accurately reflect the quality of our child and adolescent mental health services at Cheadle, and have disputed the factual accuracy of many aspects of the report. Our responsibilities are first and foremost to our patients and their families, and while we take the report very seriously and remain committed to addressing any issues raised, the misrepresentation of our service is unhelpful both to them, and to our dedicated and hard-working staff. The headlines of the CQC’s press release fail to identify many positive aspects found by inspectors, including that ‘all wards were safe, clean, well-equipped, well-furnished and fit for purpose’, patient incidents were managed well, our staff were ‘discreet, respectful, and responsive when caring for children and young people,’ and that patients felt our staff were ‘supportive, kind, respectful and caring.’ They state we had enough nursing and support staff to keep patients safe.  They stated our care was ‘personalised, holistic and recovery-orientated’ and ‘staff from different disciplines worked together…to make sure children and young people had no gaps in their care’.

“To meet increasing national demand, we have invested £360,000 this year in refurbishing Orchard ward as a high dependency care ward for young people with additional support for disordered eating. This was already planned for 2023. And since January 2022, almost £2m has been invested overall in services at Cheadle Royal Hospital.  We remain totally focussed on reducing agency use, which is down by two-thirds since the inspection,  and have recruited 99 new permanent colleagues at Cheadle this year alone, which includes nine new nurses and 46 healthcare assistants, with a further 13 new nurses and 37 healthcare assistants in the pipeline.

“We are concerned that this kind of rating, when care has been highlighted as good, gives the wrong impression and could exacerbate the very problem the regulator appears to want to address, namely staffing. This inspection happened five months ago and we were  working on increasing our permanent staffing levels long  before this, which is  why we have already seen our staffing levels increase.”


Notes to editors

  • The inspection covered three CAMHs wards: Woodland, Orchard and Meadows wards. It was not hospital-wide.
  • During the inspection, the CQC did not identify any patient harm
  • In relation to the environment, CQC said ‘we saw continuous cleaning activity, and the children and young people told us that the wards were always clean and tidy.’
  • Although the report references broken windows, it clarifies that they did not pose a safety risk because an additional double-glazed window unit has been installed on the interior of the existing windows. The windows are now fixed.
  • Graffiti on the doors has been addressed and we explained to the CQC that this behaviour relates to how our young patients communicate their distress , and therefore it is not always possible or practical to address it immediately.
  • Inspectors said: “Staff knew about any risks to each child and young person and acted to prevent or reduce risks.”
  • There were no incidents of severe harm in connection with restraint. Although the incident numbers involving restraint may be perceived as high, our system for recording these means that 34% related to occasions where young people were physically redirected (described as ‘no harm’ which is usually just a touch of the elbow) and often away from a confrontation with another young person. Less than 1% were classified as ‘moderate harm’ and of these 14 were interventions to prevent self-harm and nine to stop violent behaviour. The CQC stated that “Staff made every attempt to avoid using restraint by using de-escalation techniques and restrained children and young people only when these failed and when necessary to keep the child, young person or others safe”.
  • Our training compliance rates have increased across the hospital since the inspection.




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