CQC recognise Cornish NHS Trust as leading best practice regarding sexual safety

A sexual safety assessment tool produced by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) has been heralded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an example of best practice.

CQC recognise Cornish NHS Trust as leading best practice regarding sexual safety

A sexual safety assessment tool produced by Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) has been heralded by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an example of best practice.

This month, (11 September 2018), the CQC published a report: ‘Sexual safety on mental health wards’ and called for new national guidance to improve the sexual safety of patients and staff on mental health wards. Their call for action follows analysis of how mental health trusts in England report sexual incidents.

The CQC developed their recommendations after analysing nearly 60,000 reports of sexual incidents on the NHS National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). They also engaged with trusts, national bodies, patient representatives and people with direct experience.

The CQC will be working with other regulators and stakeholders including NHS Improvement, NHS England and the Royal College of Psychiatrists to implement recommendations aimed at improving the sexual safety of people who use mental health services.

CFT is one of two Trusts highlighted in the CQC’s report for taking effective action in this important area to protect vulnerable adults.

Mike Marshall who is CFT’s associate director of inpatient mental health services stated:

“We are continually striving to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of the care we provide on our mental health wards, and sexual safety is an integral part of our 2018 quality improvement programme. The aim of the assessment tool is to help our clinicians identify any risks associated with an individual’s sexual safety and wellbeing and to aid the development of a care and support plan”.

Training and guidance has been developed for staff and plans are in place to develop information for patients.

The initiative was developed alongside the Trust who has jointly appointed a neighbourhood beat officer from Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. The officer’s beat includes all of the Trust’s mental health inpatient facilities ensuring he is available to offer support and guidance to staff and patients around all offences including those concerning sexual safety.