Options for Care receives glowing feedback in landmark CQC document

Posted by: admin | Date: 19th October 2017

Dartmouth House is discussed in detail on p.69 of The state of care in mental health services 2014 to 2017 under Improvement and Reinspection.

The CQC explain that, following going into special measures in December 2015, the unit was closed for refurbishment, later reopening as Dartmouth House with the function changed to long stay rehabilitation for men of working age. The report identifies how Options for Care developed new governance structures to ensure patient safety and delivered better quality care and therapeutic services. Following reinspection, Dartmouth House was rated as Good overall and in March 2017, the service came out of special measures (the first independent mental health service to do so). The report identified specific areas of good practice which led to the improvement:

–           Developed detailed, recovery focused care plans.

–           Employed agency staff who had good knowledge of the service and could build relationships based on trust with patients.

–           Encouraged patients to contribute to discussions about what activities should take place.

–           Established a culture where open discussion was encouraged.

–           Installed a strong administrative team to allow staff to spend more time with patients.

–           Risk assessed ligature risks with the intention that the environment would reflect a patient’s home.

–           Developed a process that meant informal patients could leave at will.

–           Carried out adjustments for people who needed disabled access to the building.

The full report is available here:http://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/major-report/state-care-mental-health-services-2014-2017

Reducing stigma and increasing awareness of mental health issues

Posted by: admin | Date: 19th October 2017

Dartmouth House staff nurse and active member of the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) (UK), Angela Levene hosted a mental health awareness day at her local church on 16 September to increase understanding of mental health issues. Angela helped arrange speakers covering subjects like treatment, use of the mental health act, stigma, signs and symptoms of mental health illness and carers perspectives; one of the speakers was our own Dr Lewis. Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) (UK) is a non-profit making charitable organisation and was formed in 1978. The overwhelming goal of the organisation is to promote the study and practice of nursing, midwifery and health visiting; it also focuses on promoting and improving the health and wellbeing of the community in the UK and in Jamaica. NAJ (UK) have expanded their membership to include all cultures, health disciplines and anyone with an interest in reducing stigma and raising awareness of mental health within the wider community and can be found online at http://naj.org.uk/.

Independent Review of the Mental Health Act announced

Posted by: admin | Date: 19th October 2017

As part of the need to deliver parity of esteem between mental and physical health services, the government has launched an independent review of the Mental Health Act to be chaired by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, past president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, who will have overall responsibility for the review and its outputs. The government has stated that they want to ensure that people with mental health problems receive the treatment and support they need when they need it, are treated with dignity, and that their liberty and autonomy is respected as far as possible.


The purpose of the review is to understand government concerns (seehttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mental-health-act-independent-review/terms-of-reference-independent-review-of-the-mental-health-act-1983) as well as any additional issues with the functioning of the act identified via consultation. The review will work with stakeholders to make recommendations to government. The recommendations will be aimed at improving the treatment and support people receive when experiencing acute mental ill-health.