Angus Old Age Psychiatry services praised by Mental Welfare Commission

Angus Health and Social Care Partnership has welcomed the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland’s positive reports on psychiatry of old age inpatient units in Angus.

Since May this year, the Commission has visited the Willow and Rowan Units at the Susan Carnegie Centre in Stracathro Hospital and the Prosen Unit at Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre in Forfar. The quality of care and attention to the patient’s physical health needs was highlighted positively in all three units.

The Rowan Unit is a mixed-sex unit providing admission, assessment and treatment for older people with functional mental health problems. The Willow Unit is a mixed-sex unit providing admission, assessment and treatment for people with dementia who are experiencing complex levels of stress and distress. The Prosen Unit provides admission, assessment, and treatment for people with dementia who are experiencing complex levels of stress and distress.

The Mental Welfare Commission (MWC) for Scotland’s key role is to protect and promote the human rights of people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions.

The Commission’s positive report on the Willow Unit was issued following their announced visit on 21 August. The Commission spoke to members of staff, patients and relatives. In the report, the Commission states that they observed supportive interactions between nursing staff and individuals in the ward and the relatives they met gave positive feedback about the care and treatment provided in the ward.

The Commission also reviewed patients’ files and commented that the care plans were highly detailed and person-centred and that they were clearly developed based on the assessed needs of the individual patient. It was clear in the file reviews that there is a good multi-disciplinary team (MDT) input within the ward. There is regular input from pharmacy and psychology, and also from occupational therapy and physiotherapy services. The Commission made no recommendations following the visit.

The Commission made a planned visit to the Rowan Unit in July as part of their national themed visit programme and was complimentary about a range of areas, in particular the quality of care plans, the inclusion of psychology, excellent pharmacy input and support.

The Prosen Unit at Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre received an unannounced visit from the Commission in May 2019. The Commission reported that the ward was supporting a partnership approach to the provision of care and treatment and that staff are encouraging relatives and carers to be as involved as they want to be in the provision of care and treatment. They noted the good attention to individuals’ physical health needs and the positive support from other professionals. The feedback received was very positive and the Commission had no recommendations.

Head of Community Health and Care Services in Angus, Gail Smith, said, “I am very pleased that the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland finds our services to be of such a high standard and recognises the good practice in the Psychiatry of Old Age inpatient areas in Angus. This is indeed a true reflection of the care received by the patients admitted to these specialist units. “We have dedicated, hard working and professional staff who provide patient centred care based on the patients’ individual needs. Without our staff’s commitment, we would not be able to provide such high quality care to the most vulnerable in our communities, and I would like to thank our staff for the excellent job they do.”