MP criticises private mental health hospital in Sheffield as new Government report reveals failings

An MP has accused a Sheffield private mental health hospital of 'chronic failure' after the fourth report in 13 months showed the hospital as 'requiring improvement'.

Friday, 17th November 2017, 2:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:12 pm
Cygnet Hospital on East Bank Road has come in for more criticism by Heeley MP Louise Haigh after the latest CQC report

An MP has accused a Sheffield private mental health hospital of 'chronic failure' after the fourth report in 13 months showed the hospital as 'requiring improvement'.

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh has reiterated calls for NHS England to stop commissioning beds at Cygnet Hospital on East Bank Road in Arbourthorne.

Ms Haigh, who expressed 'serious concerns' about patient safety to the Prime Minister in July, has again expressed her dismay about the 'continuing 'substandard' patient safety record and the 'lack of improvement' at Cygnet.

Parents and former patients have contacted the MP to share their own experiences of being able to self-harm, access ligatures and implements with ease and of the inadequacies of patient observation, which have led to several attempted suicides.

The latest inspection, undertaken in August 2017, rated the child and adolescent mental health wards at Cygnet as ‘Requires Improvement’ in all areas, highlighting a 'lack of consistency in care plans, incomplete mental health capacity assessments and medication not correctly stored'.

Despite repeatedly being warned by the CQC that they should cease using seclusion as a punishment the latest inspection ‘still found inappropriate reasons documented as part of the objectives to end seclusion. Three records included terminology that the patient should be ‘remorseful’ or ‘reflect on their behaviour’.

A new report showed problems continue with 'low compliance' with required mandatory training for basic elements like immediate life support and suicide prevention, the accessibility of medical supplies and the way in which medication is stored.

Patients expressed concern about their care planning, 'feeling uncomfortable in approaching agency staff' and of the 'lack of activities', particularly at evenings and weekends.

Following a meeting with the CQC, NHS England and a Health Minister in October, Ms Haigh MP had called for the CQC to undertake an inspection of the private provider Cygnet as a whole after it emerged a sister hospital in Woking, which also provides child and adolescent mental health wards, was rated Inadequate in October.

Ms Haigh said: “Repeated serious incidents have left vulnerable children in unacceptable risk and the latest report highlights continuing and chronic failure from this private provider.

“Serious problems persist and it is an utter disgrace that vulnerable adolescents and children continue to be left in substandard conditions. The lack of mental health beds nationwide is forcing vulnerable people into conditions no one should have to put up with.

“After similar failures were found in Cygnet hospitals in Woking, the NHS have a clear duty to act. They should cease commissioning beds to this private provider immediately.”

Dr Tony Romero, CEO of Cygnet Health Care comment:

“We acknowledge the findings of the CQC report on Cygnet Hospital Sheffield that took place in August this year, which notes that progress has been made since the CQC’s original inspection in July last year.

"We are committed to acting on the recommendations made in the report to ensure our services meet the high standards that both we and the CQC require."