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CQC Sexual safety on mental health wards

11 September 2018

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have published a report calling for new national guidance to improve the sexual safety of people and staff on mental health wards.

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The report shares CQC findings and recommendations after reviewing patient safety incidents following engagement with organisations, including those who represent people who use services, and with individuals with direct experience of sexual safety incidents.

Some of the things CQC heard include:

  • People who use services do not always feel that they are kept safe.
  • The ward environment does not always promote the sexual safety of people using the service.
  • Staff may under-report incidents and reports may not reflect the true impact on the person who is affected.

CQC will be working with other regulators and stakeholders to implement recommendations which include:

  • The health and social care system must provide co-produced guidance.
  • Staff should be given the right training to enable and leaders must also encourage staff to have open conversations about sexual safety with people who use services.
  • Providers, stakeholders, staff, people who use services, the police and safeguarding teams should work together on the approach to sexual safety incidents.

To read the findings and recommendations in more detail, please see the report summary, easy read report and press release.