A South London mental health hospital has been told to improve again by the health watchdog after inspectors found it had high staff turnover.

Two patients at Battersea Bridge House also told the Care Quality Commission they were “frustrated” with delays in their discharges from the hospital.

The private hospital on Randall Close was rated “requires improvement” for being safe and well-led at a follow-up inspection in October 2022, with breaches of two regulations.

The CQC report said the hospital had improved in some areas since the last  inspection in November 2021, when it was rated as “requires improvement”, but that there was “more work to do”.

The hospital said it has taken “significant steps” since the latest inspection.

The report said the staff turnover rate was high at 33 per cent, which “impacted consistency of care delivered to patients”.

Most patients said staff were caring, according to the report, but one said agency staff were “rude” and another said staff “can be disrespectful”.

Inspectors also found delays in patients being discharged from the hospital which two patients called “frustrating”.

The report said: “As a result, some patients were ready to move on but unable to. The hospital had a full bed occupancy and were unable to admit any new patients.”

The report added that eight patients were awaiting discharge – the last discharge from the hospital being six months before the inspection.

Reasons for delays, according to the report, included two patients turning down placements and “sometimes there were disagreements between organisations about which team would support the patient when they left hospital”.

It added: “The social worker was working with external teams to support these delayed discharges.

"We were told community team staff were invited to virtual meetings to discuss patient care and treatment but did not always attend.”

The report said not all patients’ discharge care planning paperwork was up-to-date.

But the CQC’s ratings of the hospital for being safe, effective and caring had improved since the last inspection.

The report said: “The service had made a number of improvements. For example, ligature risk assessments were up-to-date, personal emergency evacuation plans were in place, night-time staffing had increased, and out-of-hours medical cover had improved.

“A quality improvement manager had been employed to support the team to make improvements in quality and safety.

"Most patients told us they felt safe. The ward environments were safe and clean.”

Battersea Bridge House is part of the Inmind Healthcare Group and has 22 beds which were full at the time of the inspection.

The hospital cares for men aged 18 and over with severe mental illness and additional complex behaviour.

Its overall rating following the inspection in October is “requires improvement”.

A spokesperson for Battersea Bridge House Hospital said: “Our number one priority at all times is the health and well-being of all our patients, and we have been working with the CQC and in transparent discussion with our patients and their relatives, to continue to improve the standard of care and support we provide.

“The CQC recognised in its report, which dates back to an inspection visit in autumn of last year, that the hospital was good at providing an effective and caring service that was responsive to people’s needs.

“However, we recognise that the report also highlighted areas that needed improvement.

"We have taken significant steps since autumn 2022 such as having a GP supervising staff providing physical health provision within the unit, reducing staff turnover, improving recruitment and introducing new training regimes alongside putting in place enhanced and experienced support for hospital management.

“We are confident these improvements will be reflected in future inspection results.”