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Care firm’s leadership criticised by Care Quality Commission

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Care firm's leadership criticised by Care Quality Commission

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Concerns were raised by inspectors about leading a company at the center of a BBC that exposes allegations of abuse at a mental health hospital.

Panorama's investigation – aired in May – was based on covert filming at Durham County Learning Disabilities Unit, Whorlton Hall.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) accompanied this with an investigation into the management of Cygnet Health Care.

The company said it was addressing the concerns raised.

  • Whorlton Hall Abuse: Watchdog Calls for Inspection
  • Whorlton Hall: Former Inspector Says Warnings Were Ignored

The CQC found that patients under the company's care were more likely to be contained.

Higher rates of personal injury were also observed by inspectors who questioned managers and reviewed records at company headquarters.

Cygnet runs over 100 services for vulnerable adults and children, caring for people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and eating disorders.

What else did inspectors find?

The regulator noted a lack of clear lines of responsibility between the executive team and their services.

He stated that the directors' identity, disclosure and service restrictions were carried out.

Bit said the necessary checks were not made to ensure that directors and board members met the "appropriate and appropriate" person test for their duties.

The systems used to manage risk were also criticized, while intermediate life support training was not provided to all relevant employees in services where physical intervention or rapid reassurance was used.

However, CQC said the senior leadership team was responding to concerns and pointed out that most of the services performed by the provider were rated as good, with some as excellent.

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Whorlton Hall was closed after the Panorama exhibition last year.

Cygnet said it is taking steps to improve services, but added that it is "not complacent" and "accepts" the recommendations.

A spokeswoman added, "We treat some of the most acute patients that other professionals may not be able or willing to support.

"Our goal is always to scale down and advocate for less restrictive practices in accordance with current best practice guidelines."

The unit at the center of the BBC's charges has been closed. Although privately run, it was funded by the NHS.


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