A ‘VITAL’ rehabilitation facility for men with life-limiting brain injuries which was hailed as a national hub of recovery when it opened its doors in Barnsley last year has received a glowing rating following a first visit from inspectors.

Cygnet Pindar House was awarded a ‘good’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), it was revealed earlier this week.

Cygnet Health Care - the firm behind the 22-bed Upper Sheffield Road complex - provide a neuropsychiatric service for men with neurological conditions and brain injuries.

Despite the national coronavirus restrictions, CQC inspectors said staff have ‘worked hard to keep life as normal as possible’ for service users, including organising sports day events in the garden and karaoke sessions to keep spirits up.

As national restrictions eased, the team started planning activities without any close contact such as daytrips, walking in parks and bird-watching.

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The report said: “Staff developed holistic, recovery-oriented care plans informed by a comprehensive assessment.

“They provided a range of treatments suitable to the needs of the patients cared for in a mental health rehabilitation ward and in line with national guidance.

“Staff treated patients with compassion and kindness, respected their privacy and dignity, and understood the individual needs of patients, while they actively involved patients and families and carers in care decisions.

“Managers at all levels in the hospital had the right skills and abilities to run a service providing high-quality sustainable care.”

The facility - which opened in February last year - ‘provides a much-needed service not currently catered for in Yorkshire and the Humber’, according to Cygnet bosses, helping to reduce out-of-area placements and support people returning to community living.

Jackie Ewington, the facility’s manager, told the Chronicle: “We are delighted that Cygnet Pindar House has been given an overall rating of ‘good’ by the CQC following its inspection.

“It’s a great achievement given the ongoing pandemic with additional challenges that have been faced and overcome.

“One of our priorities is to actively involve patients and their families in care decisions, so it’s particularly reassuring that the feedback given to the CQC inspectors was that patients were treated with compassion and kindness and that staff respected their privacy and dignity and understood their individual needs.

“We all work cohesively to make sure that the service users receive the correct input right from admission to maximise their treatment and rehabilitation opportunity.

“I would like to thank the team for their professionalism, hard work and resilience to achieve this great result.”

Cygnet claim the unit represents a significant step forward in increasing national provision in this highly specialist area of care, an area of which has been traditionally hit hard by austerity cuts and a lack of local-based centres which result in patients travelling elsewhere to access treatment.

A spokesperson added: “The hospital is a purpose-built facility that has been designed specifically to provide a clinically-led, evidence-based neuropsychiatric pathway for those individuals presenting with behaviours that challenge.

“Our focus is to create a therapeutic environment which engages our service users and offers them the opportunity to minimise their challenging behaviour and maximise their independence.”