Northumberland doctor says reducing restraints on mental health patients helped turn hospital around

A Northumberland The doctor spoke about how he helped improve a struggling private hospital by working with patients, and also shared his concerns about the pressures mental health services are facing.

Dr. Gbolagade Akintomide is a consultant psychiatrist at Cygnet Hexham, a private hospital that cares for women with mental health problems. speaking to ChronicleLivehe said involving patients in their own care and helping reduce restrictions on their daily lives was key.

Following an inspection in 2019, when the service provided rooms for adults with a learning disability or autism and named Cygnet Chesterholme, enforcement action was taken. The service was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission and placed on special measures before closing in September 2019 and reopening in October 2020. Earlier this year, it received a much-improved “Good” rating.

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Dr Akintomide has been named the firm’s Medical Leader of the Year, and a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has paid tribute to his work in helping to improve the service. Dr. Akintomide, who lives in Hazlerigg, told ChronicleLive, “The way I work with people is to lead by example and ensure that patient care is always the best. The goal is to give them that great care, yeah , but also to provide them with excellent care that they’re involved in. We’ve made changes that will really improve patient care.”

The doctor, who is also the firm’s chief medical officer in the north of England, said one of the ways improvements had been made was in easing restrictions on patients where appropriate. He said: “As a mental health service, our patients can often be a risk to themselves and to others. We have to react and balance that with their needs for a sense of independence and we have been working to reduce the level of observation “.

“If you work with patients and give them some criteria, that if they do this without incident we can get them out of one-on-one observation, for example, patients may really want to work with us. It’s about working with our patients and the team and making sure that everything we do is thinking of them”.

He said this collaborative approach had seen improvements in the safety and independence and well-being of patients, and the “holistic” approach was praised when inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited earlier this year. At the time, the inspectors said: “The staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and understood the individual needs of patients. Actively involved patients, families, and caregivers in treatment decisions.” attention”.

Dr. Akintomide added that the increasing pressure on mental health services had several causes, including a higher incidence of health problems among young people and the difficulty in persuading doctors to work in the sector. He added: “There is more and more pressure on services and one of the reasons is that I think young people are facing more and more social pressures at a younger age, compared to 50 or 60 years ago. People can leave home very young and family security the network is not there as much”.

As regards labor pressures – common to a large part of the National Health Service and to social care, she added: “Working as a doctor in mental health and psychiatry can be a very rewarding thing, it can be very rewarding, but it can be a challenging place to work.” He said potential psychiatrists could lose their jobs because of the “emotional impact that working in mental health services can have on them”, but he wanted to persuade young doctors to take up the challenge.

Presenting Dr Akintomide’s award, Dr Helen Crimlisk, Royal College Medical Leadership Psychologist, said: “Dr Akintomide has shown an incredible level of hard work, dedication and leadership. He has spent a lot of time teaching all disciplines about policies and care plans and works closely with teams to help them get better in tough times. He is a true leader in difficult circumstances, as well as when things are going well.”


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