Mental health hospital placed into special measures by CQC

Mental health hospital placed into special measures by CQC
Mental health hospital placed into special measures by CQC

A mental health hospital run by the Danshell Group has been placed under special measures by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after receiving an Inadequate rating. 

Inspectors found that Thors Park Hospital in Thorrington, Essex, needed to make significant improvements to ensure it was delivering safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led care to the 11 male patients after their inspection in February.

The hospital is rated as Inadequate for being safe, responsive and well-led, Requires Improvement for being effective and Good for being caring.

Following the hospital’s previous inspection in January 2018 it was rated as Good overall, however, the regulator carried out a further inspection in October and November last year as a result of safeguarding concerns.

The facility has been under close scrutiny by the healthcare watchdog since the inspection in October and November and the CQC had issued warnings in relation to safety, governance and staffing.

Inspectors have highlighted areas where the hospital must improve, including staff ensuring physical restraints used during incidents are recorded; the clinic room, equipment and medication must be safely managed; the provider must ensure that staff maintain the CCTV and correct the timings on the system; and the provider must ensure adequate investigations following complaints are completed and all available evidence is used.

Thors Park accepts referrals from across the country, with the eleven patients funded by a different clinical commissioning groups.

The CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Paul Lelliott said: ‘The service currently has no registered manager and has had a succession of managers over recent years. It must be asked whether these factors have contributed to the deterioration in the service since our last comprehensive inspection in January 2018 – at which time we rated the hospital as Good.

‘It is unacceptable that staff have failed to take the necessary steps to keep patients safe or to keep the ward in a clean and well-maintained condition. The local safeguarding team is currently undertaking a safeguarding investigation triggered by allegations of abuse by staff towards patients and a number of incidents related to unexplained injuries of patients.’

A Cygnet Health Care spokesperson said: ‘Cygnet recently acquired Danshell Group, which has some 25 hospitals and care homes, and we are currently undertaking an in-depth review of its facilities. We acknowledge the CQC’s recent report on Thors Park, which noted several issues for us to address in terms of the service we provide. Immediately following the CQC’s inspection and ahead of the publication of the report, we began taking steps to address the concerns raised. We are already implementing a comprehensive action plan to address the issues referenced in the CQC report.

‘Cygnet Health Care’s own portfolio does not have any Inadequate rated facilities and as an organisation, patient care remains our top priority. We are committed to continuously improving our procedures, protocols and training, which we recognise are all critical to providing the highest standards of healthcare.’

Cygnet Healthcare UK bought the Danshell Group for an undisclosed sum in 2018.