Publish date: 19 May 2023

The forensic inpatient wards at West London NHS Trust have retained their 'Outstanding' overall rating following an inspection from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Today (Friday 19 May), the CQC published its report on a recent inspection of the forensic inpatient/ secure wards at West London NHS Trust.

The visit happened in February this year and focused on the women's forensic service at the Orchard Unit located in Southall.

Following the inspection, the Trust's women's forensic inpatient services were rated at 'requires improvement' in the 'safe' category.

However, this is just one category the service was marked in, which means the forensic inpatient wards have retained their ‘Outstanding’ overall rating.

The inspection highlighted a number of issues including a high vacancy rate in line with the national shortage of nursing staff.

The inspection also identified:

  • Ward environments were safe and clean, and staff managed risks to people well.

  • People were provided care in line with best practice because staff used audits to benchmark care.

  • There was excellent feedback from patients and carers with regards to their care and treatment.

  • People in the service were given communication, advocacy, cultural and spiritual support, aided by staff. Inspectors said they saw numerous examples of people involved in the development of the service, including focus groups on the use of restraint.

Meanwhile, the overall rating for the Trust remains 'Good'.

Dr Catherine Penny, Clinical Director for West London Forensic Services (WLFS) said: "We are delighted that the women’s unit at the Orchard, part of our forensic service, remains rated as Outstanding overall by the Care Quality Commission. It’s heartening to see the many positives noted, including the outstanding practice in co-production, with our patients empowered as partners in their care and service development. Feedback was excellent from patients and carers regarding their care and treatment.

“We note the concerns raised in the report and are addressing these, including rapidly working to ensure our policy to complete and evidence enhanced observations at unpredictable times is followed consistently across the service.

“We are pleased to see the positive feedback in relation to care plans, managing risk, cleanliness and infection control, staff treating patients with compassion and kindness, and use of restrictive interventions”.

You can read the full report from the CQC here: