Adolescent mental health unit rated ‘inadequate’ and deemed unsafe

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has threatened to close a mental health hospital in Northampton after inspectors found it to be unsafe and operating far below the expected standard.

The CQC found many rooms lacking basic furnishings – such as beds and pillows – which resulted in a number of patients having to lie on the floor.

Inspectors highlighted the lack of compassion or respect the patients received whilst staying at the hospital. Many of the staff were found to be uncaring and disrespectful towards the patients.

The hospital itself was found to be unsafe – for example, many of the seclusion rooms had incredibly sharp edges on the door frames.

Hospital records were found to be inaccurate with there often being differences between a staff member’s recollection of an event, the written account of the event, and the CCTV showing the actual event.

The CQC have stated that the hospital will face another inspection in six months’ time and if there is insignificant improvement, measures will be taken to have the hospital closed for good.

Michele Benjamin, Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer in the Medical Negligence team at Ashton’s Legal, comments: “This is a very sad example of the gradual demise of a teen mental health care service. I do expect over the coming months there to be substantial improvements made to the way the provider is operating their services. It is paramount there is a certain level of care so that we can be sure teenagers accessing this service are in the best possible hands and not receiving substandard care.

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