Dartmouth House CQC Review

Posted by: Phil Coggins | Date: 12th August 2021

The CQC contacted Dartmouth house to complete a remote review of our services. This review occurred between 16-18 December. Following the review, a formal letter was sent to Dartmouth House (which replaces the usual report used before the pandemic). Here are some important sections from the letter:

“We had a discussion to enable the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to continue to monitor the care and treatment of patients detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope in this way to avoid visiting your ward unless we identify serious concerns with the quality of care and treatment being provided to detained patients…. During this review we spoke with you [Matthew Lockley]. We also spoke with two registered mental health nurses, speciality doctor, a carer and three patients. We received written responses from the responsible clinician (RC), MHA administrator, advocacy and five completed patient experience forms.”

“We spoke with three patients who all gave positive feedback about their care and treatment at Dartmouth House:

  • All patients said they felt safe at the hospital, were aware of their rights to appeal against their detention, involved in writing their care plan and aware of their discharge pathway.
  • All patients we spoke with identified themselves as south Asian. They said staff supported them to practice their religious faith and respected their cultural needs, for example going to the Temple with staff and eating food
  • appropriate to their culture.
  • They said staff have given them information about COVID-19 and how to keep themselves safe. Staff attitude was described as “professional, good and nice”.
  • One patient was admitted to Dartmouth House during the pandemic. He said on admission, he was placed in a room in another part of the hospital which he described “suitable and spacious”.
  • All patients were aware of advocacy services but do not need their service at present.
  • We received five completed patient experience forms. Most feedback was positive. All forms indicated patients felt safe on the ward and described all staff attitude as good or very good.”

“I am pleased to note that no points for action have been identified. Thank you again for your continued support to enable us to monitor the care and treatment of detained patients and use of the MHA.”

For more information please see this letter:

NMCWatch Buddy Project

NMCWatch Buddy Project

Posted by: Phil Coggins | Date: 3rd August 2021

NMCWatch are thrilled to have been awarded a grant by The Laura Hyde Foundation (LHF) which enables them to formalise the support they currently offer to nurses, midwives and associated healthcare professionals. These are colleagues who are undergoing Fitness to Practice (FtP) investigations by their regulator, such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or a local employment dispute.

The “Buddy – hold my hand” pilot will allocate a registrant buddy to each new member of the NMCWatch group. This buddy will provide both practical and emotional support with the added benefit that they have been through the process themselves so fully understand it’s impact.

Options for Care are in full support of this project as it provides a much needed resource for many care professionals in need.

More information on this project can be found in this Press Release:

or on their website: https://nmcwatch.org.uk

Staff Check in Survey

Staff Check in Survey

Posted by: Phil Coggins | Date: 18th August 2020

This Survey was completed by Options for Care staff to gauge their feelings on our handling of the pandemic and lock down restrictions.

We had a very good response rate compared with other, similar surveys. The results were also extremely positive. 90%+ agreed / strongly agreed to all the questions.

As an organisation we pride ourselves on caring for the individual, whether that be service user or staff member.

For more information please read the Survey Results Summary.








Orchard House receives ‘Good’ CQC rating

Posted by: Lee Johnson | Date: 9th May 2019

Orchard House has received an overall ‘Good ‘rating from the the CQC following the unannounced inspection in March 2019 where it was awarded a ‘Good’ rating in all areas. It is the latest of all services to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from the CQC .

All Options for Care services are now rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.

Montague Court receives ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating

Posted by: Lee Johnson | Date: 15th November 2018

Montague Court, and Options for Care as an organisation, continued its impressive journey of quality improvement with an Outstanding rating awarded following the Care Quality Commission inspection in September. The inspection team reported the ‘family’ feel of the service alongside the focus on positive outcomes, activity and discharge planning. For further information please see the full report MC CQC Report

Excellent Service User Survey

Posted by: Lee Johnson | Date: 29th June 2018

With an exceptional response rate of 86% returned. An overwhelmingly positive service user survey for Dartmouth House indicated improvements or maintenance of standard in almost all areas. For the full results see: DH Patient Survey report

Dartmouth House ‘Good’ CQC report

Posted by: Lee Johnson | Date: 29th June 2018

Dartmouth House maintains it’s ‘Good’ rating with the CQC following the inspection on 24 April 2018. The inspection team noted that service users reported staff were caring and respectful and staff knew service users well which was used as a basis for supportive and responsive recovery-focused care. For further information please see the full report DH CQC report

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.