Care watchdog blast for privately-run mental health hospital in Heswall

Care watchdog blast for privately-run mental health hospital in Heswall

Care watchdog blast for privately-run mental health hospital in Heswall

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A WIRRAL hospital which looks after people with mental health problems has failed to meet expected levels of care and forced to send its patients elsewhere.

Watchdog the Care Quality Commission has issued two formal warnings to the Regency Hospital in Broad Lane after an inspection found it was failing to meet seven out of eight national standards.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC’s regional director, said: “Our inspection of Regency Hospital Heswall was extremely concerning and we have warned the provider improvements must be made.

Action has been taken to “protect the safety and welfare of the patients” at the privately-run hospital - which provides care and rehabilitation for people sectioned under the Mental Health Act – and all have now left the facility.

When the commission visited the multi-million pound unit in November 2013, inspectors found one ward did not meet the required standards to safely accommodate patients who require a low security environment.

Staff records showed many had not received adequate training and support and did not have the necessary skills to care for patients.

Low staffing levels also led to some patients being unable to take their “section 17” leave granted under the Mental Health Act.

Investigations into serious incidents were not suitably robust and “there was little evidence of any learning or actions having been taken to prevent reoccurrence.”

Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC’s regional director, said: “Our inspection of Regency Hospital Heswall was extremely concerning and we have warned the provider improvements must be made.

“Although there are currently no patients receiving care, the Regency Hospital remains registered with CQC.

“As such, we continue to monitor the hospital closely in liaison with local commissioners and should we find the hospital has not made the required improvements, we will consider the need for any further regulatory action.”

The hospital, on the site of former Heswall Boys’ Camp, sparked concern among residents in 2007 when development first began, with many claiming they had not been informed of its true use.

Wirral Council originally refused planning permission for the unit but the ruling was overturned on appeal in January 2004.

The authority has since worked with the CQC to resolve issues at the hospital.

Graham Hodkinson, Wirral’s director of adult social care, said: “We do not commission placements from Regency Hospital or have any placements there.

“However, safeguarding concerns in relation to individuals at the hospital were reported through our central advice and duty team, which were followed up with the appropriate authorities.

“We have since worked with CQC and NHS England local area team to help resolve issues at Regency Hospital and will continue to support the CQC in whatever way we can.”

The Globe has requested a response from Regency Hospitals but no one has been available to comment today.

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