PSYCHIATRIC wards run by a care trust have made “significant improvements” say inspectors – but some concerns remain.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited wards at the Airedale Centre for Mental Health, in the grounds of Airedale Hospital, and Lynfield Mount Hospital at Bradford in September.

The visit was to follow-up on a warning notice issued to the Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust earlier this year.

A CQC spokesman said: “The inspection focused on the key questions, are services safe and well-led? Due to the nature of the focused inspection the rating of inadequate is unchanged. Whilst inspectors noted some concerns remained, significant advances had been made and safety of the service had improved.”

Inspectors said staff did not always complete environmental checks or take action to reduce all risks they identified.

On one ward there were three bottles of controlled drugs that had not been disposed of and on another ward, a bottle of controlled drugs with no date of opening.

However, wards were said to be safer, clean, well equipped, well furnished, mostly well-maintained and fit for purpose. Most staff had completed mandatory training, which was comprehensive and met the needs of patients and staff, while managers investigated incidents and shared lessons learned.

“When things went wrong, staff apologised and gave patients honest information and suitable support,” said the inspection report. Inspectors said there had been “significant improvements”, but some areas of concern remained.

The trust has been told it must improve in five areas – staff must complete documentation fully when patients go on leave from the ward, the ward environment must be reviewed regularly and action taken in response to issues, ligature risk assessments must reflect all ligature risks, patients must have a risk management plan that addresses the risks identified in their assessments, and systems to assess, monitor and improve safety must continue to be embedded.

Brent Kilmurray, the trust's chief executive, said: “The report rightly recognises the significant and rapid improvements that we have made across our wards and equally importantly, the positive feedback from people using our services. The improvements are down to the hard work and commitment of all the staff involved and our new approach to continuous quality improvement, to improve services for our local communities.”