To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) when the Royal College of Psychiatrists inspected the accident and emergency department at the East Surrey hospital; what its recommendations were; and when he expects the recommendations to be implemented;
(2) what his assessment is of the safety of the accident and emergency department at the East Surrey hospital for members of the public (a) in the period following the inspection of the department by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and (b) following the instruction of 30 December 2003 of the clinical tutor to junior psychiatric doctors to cease attending patients at the department.
The recommendations made by the Royal College of Psychiatrists are as follows:
The reduction in the number of outpatient clinics in post number RPU/13/052/5/001 should be considered.
Community visits should form an integral part of all general adult training posts.
The tutor at Epsom Hospital should sit on the hospital library committee.
Increased consultant support to the in-house educational activities is recommended.
The protocol for access to the Meadows Unit after 5 p.m. should be reviewed.
Consideration should be given to the development of a senior house officer post in child and adolescent psychiatry at East Surrey.
The training scheme at East Surrey Hospital was approved for four years following this assessment.
I understand from the Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority that Surrey Oaklands National Health Service Trust has acted in accordance with the mandatory requirements and responded to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
All NHS trusts have a statutory responsibility to ensure that their premises are safe for staff, and patients. I understand that a new accident and emergency psychiatric assessment room is planned for completion by end of February but in the interim an alternative room has been provided. This area has been assessed and endorsed by the chief executive of the trust as meeting safety requirements.