THE Care Quality Commission (CQC) says improvements are needed at a Hereford psychiatric unit, as patients don't feel safe.

The Mortimer ward at the Stonebow Unit has been criticised for a lack of "sexual safety" by the CQC in a recent report.

The CQC inspected the ward, and other services run by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, last year after multiple issues were raised.

The findings were published in a report on January 19.

During the visit, inspectors found "sexual safety risks" on the ward.

Claims reported to the CQC included sexual incidents between male and female patients, and going into each other's single-sex spaces.

An inspector heard how one patient reported a sexual incident to the police as they did not feel staff had taken their concerns seriously. 

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust has said that it is improving care.


The trust said: "We have made significant improvements in relation to the sexual safety on our wards. This has included redesigning ward layouts, sexual safety charters, increasing both staff and patient awareness and seeking patient feedback about safety to ensure their feedback influences our actions. We continue to work on improvements. We are now confident that all reportable incidents are notified to the CQC in a timely manner."

The mixed-gender Mortimer ward supports people with mental health difficulties.

It has an improvement plan in place following the CQC's verdict that it "requires improvement".