Cygnet Yew Trees hospital closed following CQC inspection

Person in a hoodie slumped against a stone wall

The Care Quality Commission has today released its inspection report into Cygnet Yew Trees, a private hospital providing care for vulnerable adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex.

What did the inspection find?

Following an inspection in August 2020, Cygnet Yew Trees has now been closed following the CQC’s findings that the hospital was failing to keep residents safe and was poorly led.  The CQC inspectors reviewed CCTV footage which showed staff physically and emotionally abusing patients.  Staff who witnessed the incidents did not report them.  Upon review of 20 CCTV episodes that occurred between June and July 2020, the CQC found that 40% of the episodes showed inappropriate staff behaviour, including physical and emotional abuse.  CQC inspectors also noted that staff involved in these incidents failed to accurately record what had happened – 45% of incident reports did not match the CCTV footage.

The report also identifies incidents where staff “dragged patients across the floor”, used “abusive, disrespectful, intimidating, aggressive and inappropriate behaviour” and used inappropriate restraint techniques.

Inspectors also found that managers had failed to comply with their obligations under health and safety regulations and had failed to demonstrate safe and robust recruitment of appropriate staff.

Window with bars across it

What will happen to the staff?

Ten members of staff have been suspended and the police are commencing investigations following receipt of the CCTV footage.

Cygnet Yew Trees is owned and operated by Cygnet Health Care, the same company who owned Whorlton Hall.  Whorlton Hall was the subject of an undercover BBC Panorama expose in May 2019, where video footage showed staff at that hospital physically and emotionally abusing vulnerable people in their care.  Enable Law have been instructed to investigate a claim for compensation on behalf of a former resident of Whorlton Hall.

If you are concerned about the treatment of a family member or would like to speak to Enable Law about legal implications arising from Cygnet Yew Trees investigations, please contact us.

Banner inviting you to learn more about our work with vulnerable adults who have been abused