Monroe House improvements urged after new report

SCOTLAND’S health care watchdog has called for more improvements to be be made at a private psychiatric hospital in Dundee where five members of staff were suspended last year following allegations of “inappropriate behaviour.”

A watchdog has called for further improvements at Dundee's Monroe House. Picture: Contributed

One woman was reported to the Procurator Fiscal following a Police investigation at the city’s Monroe House in the Adler area of the city - an independent hospital which provides assessment and intervention for men and women who have a learning disability or complex needs.

Last year the quality of management and leadership at Monroe House was described as “weak” by inspectors from Health Improvement Scotland (HIS) who carried out a series of inspections at the hospital after the allegations came to light.

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And a new report, published today by HIS inspectors, following an unannounced inspection in December, is calling for continuing improvements to be made at the hospital, now under the management of anew provider, Oakview Estates Ltd.

The new report has assessed the quality of care and support as “good” and the quality of management and leadership as “adequate” but has assessed the quality of staff as “weak.”

Susan Brimelow, the Chief Inspector of Health Improvement Scotland, said: “We have identified a significant number of areas where Monroe House must make improvements. Morale among staff was generally low and we found patients were not always being treated with dignity and respect.

“We were not satisfied that quality assurance processes were robust enough and found the overall hospital environment was tired. However, good systems were in place to manage medication and we saw evidence that service users are given the opportunity to comment on the care they receive.”

She added: “This inspection resulted in eight requirements and six recommendations which Monroe House must address as a matter of priority. We will follow up these concerns at future inspections.”

The inspection report states: “A new provider has recently taken over the service. It is important for the new provider to engage with the families of people using the service. This will allow families to give their opinions on what the service has been doing well and what improvements the new provider could make.

“Overall, we found evidence in Monroe House that good systems are in place to manage medication, and people using the service are given opportunities to comment on their care. We did find that improvements are required in a number of areas, which include making sure staff treat people with dignity and respect at all times, improving the standard of the environment, and making sure the quality assurance systems which are in place are robust.

“We saw several interactions during the inspection that we did not think were respectful. We saw staff speaking sharply to people, shouting down the corridors to people, interrupting people during a conversation, and speaking to people in a way that we did not think was respectful.”

Monroe House is a 26 bed private psychiatric hospital providing healthcare services for adults with learning disabilities, associated mental health problems and challenging behaviour.