‘Things are looking up’ – MP Sir Oliver Heald and councillors praise new management team at Baldock Manor mental health unit after visit

Baldock Manor.

Baldock Manor. - Credit: Archant

Things are looking up at the Baldock Manor mental health unit – that’s the message after two councillors and North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald met the hospital’s new management.

Sir Oliver Heald.

Sir Oliver Heald. - Credit: Archant

Sir Oliver and Baldock Town ward councillors Jim McNally and Michael Muir spoke to Lance Adams, chief executive of Manor operators Nouvita Ltd, as well as patients and the hospital’s new manager Karen Hartland.

And Sir Oliver and Mr McNally told the Comet afterwards that they had been impressed by their plans to improve leadership, recruitment and community engagement at Baldock Manor, with management now holding meetings with its neighbours every three months.

The MP said: “I am glad that the company has brought in a new management team, who seem experienced and determined to see the needed improvements made. I hope they succeed and will continue to monitor the situation and keep in touch with councillors, local neighbouring residents and the team at Baldock Manor.

“I am also arranging to give my contact details to the patients who asked for them during my tour. There is a need for the sort of caring services Baldock Manor provides, but it is also important that the services are delivered well in everyone’s interests.”

Councillor Jim McNally.

Councillor Jim McNally. - Credit: Archant

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The meeting came after Baldock Manor received a damning Care Quality Commission report in October last year, based on visits in November 2015. The results of a further CQC visit in May 2016 have yet to be published.

Mr McNally said: “Ms Hartland impressed us with her ability to actually engage with staff and get things done.

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“It really is a question of giving her some time to rectify the poor management that was in place beforehand – and I think it was just a question of the management not being able to do the job as opposed to anything else.

“As a new boss she’s swept fairly clean the relationship between residents and Baldock Manor, which has softened considerably. She holds regular community meetings now with people from the locality, but I don’t attend because there’s no need for a referee or arbiter anymore.

Councillor Michael Muir outside Baldock Manor in 2013.

Councillor Michael Muir outside Baldock Manor in 2013. - Credit: Archant

“Their integration with the community is getting much better. Certainly I’m a lot happier with its place in the community now. It’s still not perfect, but things as far as Baldock Manor is concerned are looking up.”

One of the Baldock Road hospital’s neighbours, who preferred not to be named, told the Comet: “It’s taken a while and people are still concerned, but the manager is definitely improving relations and complaints appear to be tailing off.”

The Comet has contacted Nouvita Ltd to request comment.

For more see nouvita.co.uk/baldock-manor and cqc.org.uk/location/1-472548085.

Baldock Manor

Baldock Manor - Credit: Archant

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