Care inspectors have told a Priory Group hospital in Bromley it must continue to make urgent improvements to its services for people with learning disabilities or autism.
The Keston Unit, part of Priory Hospital Hayes Grove, is a specialised mixed gender unit for adults who have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with psychiatric co-morbidities. The service also admits people with ASD and mild learning disabilities. The unit had six patients at the time of the inspection.
The CQC carried out an inspection of the hospital’s Keston Unit between 21 August and 7 September, as a result of concerns raised regarding the safety, quality and leadership.
The watchdog had previously inspected the unit in January 2020. It rated the service as ‘inadequate’ overall and placed a condition on the provider’s registration, preventing it from admitting patients to the Keston Unit until improvements had been made. This condition remains in place.
Inspectors said the site had failed to make sufficient progress since January and that the quality of care and treatment provided remained unsafe and compromised people’s privacy and dignity.
Following the inspection, the Priory Hospital Hayes Grove made the decision to close the Keston Unit by the end of the year.
The previous overall rating of ‘inadequate’ remains unchanged.
Helen Rawlings, head of hospital inspection, London at the CQC, said: ‘During the inspection, we found several serious concerns relating to the leadership of the unit which resulted in the need for us to use our legal powers to take immediate enforcement action.
‘As a result, we placed the service into special measures, insisting that the hospital undertake an urgent review of the sexual safety of patients, make urgent changes regarding the use of closed-circuit-television (CCTV) cameras in patient bedrooms and urgent improvements regarding the provision of therapeutic activity to aid patients in their recovery.
‘Following our inspection, the provider has announced that it has taken the decision to close the Keston Unit.’
A spokesperson for Priory Hospital Hayes Grove, said: ‘Despite sustained improvements in many areas since the inspection, we have decided to close Keston Unit at the end of the year.
‘We took this decision after conducting an additional internal inspection, which concluded that the physical environment would not support the delivery of high quality care going forward.
‘We are supporting each individual in our care with their transition to a new service, and the hospital remains rated ‘good’ overall. We have a comprehensive Covid-19 policy in place, with regular checks to ensure it is fully implemented. The safety of those in our care will always be our primary concern.’