A SERVICE providing mental health and specialist neurological rehabilitation services has been ordered to improve after its latest inspection which highlighted staffing issues.

The Priory High Hank Centre on Walmersley Road was given an overall rating of "requires improvement" by regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

In its report, the CQC provided judgements on its provision for two categories of patient, people with long term conditions and working age adults undergoing long stays or rehabilitation.

After assessment of these areas, the private hospital was handed an overall rating of "requires improvement" three years after it was rated as "good" after its last inspection in 2019.

Most of the areas in which the centre was asked to improve were to do with services for people with long term health conditions.

The only area for which the hospital was given a "good" rating for long term conditions was caring as staff "treated patients with compassion and kindness" and "respected their privacy and dignity and took into account their individual needs".

However, the CQC concluded that although there are enough nursing staff to keep patients safe from avoidable harm, staffing levels did not adhere to national guidance.

The CQC report said: “The number of healthcare assistants did not always meet the minimum staffing requirement set by the service to keep patients safe.

We found one occasion in December 2021 when staffing was below safety levels and the on-call nurse was not phoned by staff.”

However, it concluded that overall provision for patients undergoing long stays or rehabilitation was "good".

In response to the report, a hospital spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the hospital has been ranked ‘requires improvement’, but we are working hard to ensure we quickly regain our previous ‘good’ rating.

“The hospital has made strenuous efforts to recruit specialist staff in the face of a national shortage, but we continue to maintain a safe level of staffing at all times.

“Staff training was disrupted by the pandemic, but we are working hard to bring everyone up to date.

"All our equipment is serviced in line with mandatory requirements.

"The service is constantly reviewing its management practices to ensure they are robust.”