*Updated* Channel 4 Dispatches investigation into care provided to individuals with learning disabilities at St Andrew’s Hospital
*Updated June 2019*
Two years after Channel 4 Dispatches investigated allegations of poor care at St Andrew’s Hospital in Nottinghamshire, the hospital has been placed in Special Measures by the Care Quality Commission after it was rated as Inadequate following recent inspections. The hospital provides care and treatment for vulnerable adults and children with either learning disabilities or who are detained under the Mental Health Act. The CQC report found that the hospital:
- Did not protect residents from avoidable harm or abuse;
- Resident privacy and dignity was not always respected;
- Staff used inappropriate language in front of residents;
- Staff took a punitive approach to manage behaviour; and
- Staff did not follow the Mental Health Act Code of Practice when using seclusion.
The report also identified that the use of seclusion was not always ended at the earliest opportunity and the use of seclusion was not properly monitored. There were also failures to properly assess mental capacity and use appropriate legal frameworks.
Channel 4 is due to broadcast a Dispatches investigation into care provided to some of the country’s most vulnerable people. ‘Undercover: Lock and Key”, due to be broadcast at 10pm tonight, focuses on St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton and raises concerns about the continued use of institutions to provide care for those with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. It is reported to focus on the extensive use of physical restraint on child and adolescent wards, as well as the allegedly excessive use of high levels of anti-psychotic medication and segregation.
A CQC report published in September 2016 rated the hospital as ‘requires improvement’.
Andrew Hannam, Partner, who has represented a number of vulnerable adults who have been affected by such failings in other homes and private hospitals (including Winterbourne View where BBC Panorama exposed abuse of adults with learning disabilities), comments that “yet again we are faced with the allegations that vulnerable members of our community have experienced failures in the care provided to them at a time when they require that care the most. This is not only distressing for the individuals involved, but also for all those with family members who are vulnerable and are reliant on others to provide much-needed care for them.”
If you are concerned about a family member or would like to speak to Enable Law about legal implications arising from the case, please contact Lindsey Connett on 01392 685385 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org