A mental health hospital has been told to improve after an inspection found leaking showers flooding rooms and patients locked out of their bedrooms.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out an unannounced inspection at Littlebrook Hospital in Dartford in June.
It comes after the health watchdog received concerns about the safety and quality of care being provided.
Inspectors looked specifically at how safe and well-led services were on acute wards and psychiatric intensive care units for adults.
During the visit the team visited all four wards at the hospital and looked at the quality of the ward environment and observed how staff were caring for patients.
They found although the wards premises were clean and comfortable, they were not well maintained.
Outstanding issues remained with leaking showers flooding people’s rooms and some door locks not working, which meant people couldn’t access their rooms when they wanted.
Patients told inspectors they found their ward noisy and uncomfortable and reported that they did not have keys to their bedrooms, or a working television in the lounge.
There were also concerns raised over some blanket restrictions on the wards.
This included internal doors being locked and access to the garden being restricted for people.
Inspectors also found there weren’t any systems in place to review whether these were appropriate and to either record or review them.
An induction process was in place for all staff working on the wards for the first time, but the trust was unable to show the CQC that the agency staff working on the day of the inspection had completed these inductions.
This put people at risk of harm, inspectors said.“The trust has been told where improvements need to be made and we will continue to monitor the service"
Despite these concerns, inspectors noted there were enough nurses and doctors on the wards, and staff managed risk well.
People also told the CQC that they felt safe and well supported. Staff also knew about any potential ligature anchor points and mitigated the risks to keep patients safe.
Inspectors saw evidence of monthly and yearly audits on each ward and staff had easy access to alarms, and patients to nurse call systems.
The overall rating of requires improvement for this service remains unchanged.
Karen Bennett-Wilson, CQC’s head of hospital inspection for community and mental health, said: “We inspected the acute wards at Littlebrook Hospital, run by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, as we received information which gave us concern about the safety of the people using this service.
“Although CQC saw staff who were committed to doing their best for people using this service, inspectors also saw both they and patients were being let down by some policies and environmental factors.
“There had been some improvements to the environment following the previous inspection and, in particular, staff were mitigating ligature risks (these are anchor points that people could use to harm themselves on).
She added: “The trust has been told where improvements need to be made and we will continue to monitor the service, ensuring these are made and embedded, with a return inspection to check on their progress.”
Georgie Grassom, communications manager at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, said: “We fully acknowledge all recommendations made by the CQC following their most recent focused inspection to Littlebrook Hospital.
“The safety and wellbeing of our patients remain our priority and we have put in place a comprehensive quality improvement plan to ensure the concerns the CQC have raised with us are addressed quickly.”
Read more: All the latest news from Dartford