Further Failings Uncovered at Hospital run by Whorlton Hall Group

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated Cygnet Hospital Colchester ‘Inadequate’.

Cygnet Hospital Colchester is run by Cygnet Health Care, the group which ran the Whorlton Hall care home which recently closed following a BBC Panorama expose of abuse and excessive and unnecessary restraint.

The Colchester hospital provides treatment and rehabilitation for adults with mental health problems, learning disabilities and complex needs.

The report follows inspections carried out by the CQC in April and May 2019. It found a number of significant failures which put patients at risk and failed to keep them safe, including:

  • Lack of permanent staff and over-reliance on agency staff
  • Failure to ensure that there were adequate female staff on duty to ensure the safety and dignity of female patients
  • Failure to ensure agency staff had passed safeguarding checks and completed required training
  • Failure to investigate incidents and restraints
  • Failure to correctly risk assess and undertake ongoing reviews
  • Failure to ensure that all staff had undertaken basic first aid training – 67% had not completed basic life support training
  • 65% of permanent staff had not undergone required training in management of restraints

The investigation also identified complaints of staff sleeping whilst they were supposed to be observing at-risk patients and of seven patients being able to self-harm when they were supposed to be under close observation (such as in eyesight or arm’s length).

It reports an incident when agency staff were involved in a restraint without having had the necessary training and identifies complaints by patients that they had been inappropriately restrained and injured as a result.

The CQC found “a historical lack of robust leadership had caused multiple failings” but also identified the hospital had taken steps to move towards rectifying this issue.

Enable Law are instructed on behalf of a former patient of Cygnet Hospital Colchester to investigate claims of personal injury and breach of their Human Rights.

To read more about our work with vulnerable adults please click here. If you would like to speak to someone regarding abuse in a care home setting, please contact us.