Private mental health hospital rated inadequate after serious concerns raised

Cygnet Hospital, Wyke
Cygnet Hospital, Wyke

A patient at a private mental health hospital, who was supposed to be under one to one observation, was able to tie a ligature round their neck unnoticed, inspectors have reported.

Following its latest inspections in June, the Care Quality Commission has rated Cygnet Hospital Wyke, “inadequate” and say they are considering further enforcement action.

New admissions of patients were stopped, but following an appeal by owner Cygnet Health Care, the 19-bed male acute mental health Branwell ward will reopen for referrals next week.

Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said the standard of care had got worse.

He said: “The safety of people who use services is our highest priority and they deserve safe high-quality care.

“We have found the standard of care provided at Cygnet Hospital Wyke to have deteriorated further.

“Therefore, we are considering further enforcement action to protect the people living there.”

The hospital was downgraded to inadequate following an inspection between June 2 and 4, with some staff “delivering care that was antagonistic and not respectful” and restrictive practices used “disproportionately".

On June 19 they returned after being made aware of serious incidents, including two where a patient who was left unobserved was able to tie a ligature.

The hospital has had seven serious incidents between May and October last year, including the deaths of two patients, which are being investigated by the coroner.

The CQC is considering criminal enforcement action after a patient fell from a hospital roof.

Its latest report states that as of June 28, there had been another six serious incidents, including a patients having to have a finger amputated following an infection which developed after an incident on a ward.

The report said despite additional procedures being put in place “there were repeated themes throughout these serious incidents, which the service had failed to learn from and reduce the likelihood of them reoccurring.”

A hospital spokesman said the report’s findings “fall short of the standards we expect”.

He added: “Since the inspections in June we have invested significantly in improving the service. We have implemented an intense improvement programme which has been shared with the CQC and they have recognised progress is being made.

“There is new management in place and, in light of the investment and improvements that have been made and remain ongoing, the CQC has already agreed to vary previous conditions so that we can accept referrals to the male mental health acute ward, which will re-open on 13 August.

“We remain committed to working with our stakeholders and appreciate the on-going support provided by our Commissioners.”