Criticised mental health unit to reopen under new name

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A children’s mental health unit that was closed by inspectors in 2019 following the deaths of two girls is to reopen next week under a new name.

Nadia Sharif and Christie Harnett were both 17 when they died under the care of West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough. The unit, which has now been renamed Acklam Road Hospital, was criticised by the Care Quality Commission after patients were found to be at high risk of ‘avoidable harm’.

The hospital has now put in place a number of new features to improve patient safety. These include ‘ligature free’ doors, sinks, toilets and showers and infra-red scanners placed above beds which can monitor pulses, breathing and movements.

The trust has said that they are aiming for patients to not stay at the unit for any longer than 12 weeks and when there will follow a timetable that will involve therapy and lessons. The children are also able to make use of the music room, gym, faith centre and raised beds for gardening.

Kate Smith, a solicitor in the medical negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “For the Care Quality Commission to have identified that patients were “at avoidable risk of harm” is extremely concerning for any family member with relatives who need mental health treatment. However, the plus side to identifying these issues is that lessons can be learned, recommendations can be put in place and a safer hospital based on these findings can be opened for helping those who really need it.”


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