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Lancashire mental health bosses investigated over care standards
5:00pm Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
MENTAL health bosses in East Lancashire are being investigated over care standards after a patient was abused in its care.
But bosses at Calderstones NHS Foundation Trust say they have been co-operating with health watchdog Monitor over the probe around Scott House near Rochdale since late April.
Police have decided to take no further criminal action after 13 staff were suspended following an allegation of abuse at the Calderstones home.
And staff from the Whalley-based health trust have now been reinstated after undergoing retraining, NHS officials have confirmed.
But Robert Davidson, Monitor’s regional director, has said it was concerned the incident, which is said to have involved one service user, may have identified shortcomings in patient care.
Mr Davidson said: “The fact that this issue was not identified by the trust may indicate a failure in the way the trust is working, so we have opened a formal regulatory investigation and also asked the CQC to assess the quality of care provided by the trust as a priority.
“We want to make sure that patients are receiving the best possible standards of care, and we will look closely at how the trust is run to determine whether it has breached the conditions of its licence to provide NHS healthcare services.”
Mr Davidson said Monitor has also contacted the Care Quality Commission, asking it undertake ‘an urgent review’ of care standards.
Trust board members were told at a May board meeting that the Scott House investigation had revolved around three incidents and staff had been interviewed under caution. Extra staff were drafted in during the suspension periods.
David Young, Calderstones’ chief executive, said the trust had been working closely with Monitor and the CQC since late April.
He said: “Three of the four issues raised by a safeguarding case conference some weeks ago were either unsubstantiated or inconclusive. We take very seriously indeed this outstanding and isolated issue of abuse against a single service user.”
The trust had also received ‘consistently good reports and feedback’ from the CQC following inspections, he said.
Mr Young added: “This has been a difficult time for everyone involved and our thoughts and concerns are with the service user and their family. Calderstones works with many extremely challenging individuals. Our staff have to act and think quickly to support them through each day.
“Their role is very demanding but the trust board has zero tolerance of any form of abuse or excessive actions in any circumstances.”
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