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Priory Hospital Deemed Unsafe After ‘Inadequate’ Rating

By Joint Head of Clinical Negligence, London & Cambridge

The Priory hospital, in Roehampton, south-west London, which is responsible for treating patients with addictions and mental health problems, has been given the lowest possible ranking by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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An inspection by the CQC revealed high rates of vacancies for nurses, particularly on the eating disorders service for children and adolescents. There had been 95 incidents on Priory Court in the six months before the inspection.

We unfortunately see many cases involving people who have taken the steps to receive help from healthcare providers and, due to failings on the part of that provider, their well-being has been jeopardised.

I am currently acting for a client whose husband sadly died in 2015 whilst he was receiving treatment at the Roehampton Priory. Due to allegedly negligent treatment he was allowed to commit suicide leaving behind a widow and two children. 

It is deeply concerning that even after the CQC’s recommendation last March that immediate action must be taken, the facility still remains “unsafe” for patients at risk of suicide and self-harm. The Priory evidently still has a long way to go before patients and their families can have confidence in the treatment provided.

The CQC’s report also said: 'The hospital environment, particularly on the acute wards, remained unsafe, due to poor sight lines, ligature anchor points, and access to vacant corridors and staff offices.'

Failures to meet basic requirements, such as providing enough nursing staff and the inability to see all parts of the ward poses a particular risk to patients admitted for patients suffering suicidal thoughts.

I am currently acting for a client whose husband sadly died in 2015 whilst he was receiving treatment at the Roehampton Priory. Due to allegedly negligent treatment he was allowed to commit suicide leaving behind a widow and two children.

When people struggling with mental health issues seek help and treatment, a healthcare provider has a duty of care to ensure that measures are taken to see that they are safe.

Inspectors were also critical of the practice of restraining patients. The report said: “Restraint of patients took place in full view of other patients. We saw many patients looking bewildered at witnessing restraints taking place.”

In August, 2016, a CQC report cited the high-profile rehabilitation clinic ‘unsafe’, stating that it required improvement in four out of five key assessed areas.

Previously, the Priory was criticised by the CQC following the death of patient Stephen Bantoft, 49. An inquest into his death is due to be held later this year. Mr Bantoft’s tragic death is one of two suicides reported at the Roehampton hospital in the last year, and one of ten ‘serious incidents of self-harm’ involving ligatures in the three months prior to March.

 

 

Emma Doughty is head of clinical negligence at Slater and Gordon in London and Cambridge.

The clinical negligence solicitors at Slater and Gordon specialise in claims against the NHS, GPs, private doctors and hospitals arising out of negligent medical treatment and acts on behalf of injured victims. If you’ve been affected, and need legal advice, please contact one of our medical negligence specialists.

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For a free consultation about a clinical or medical negligence compensation claim call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and we will call you.

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