Intended for healthcare professionals


CQC review raises “serious concerns” over private provider running 113 mental health facilities

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 14 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m148
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Staff working at mental health and adult social care services run by private provider Cygnet Health Care told the Care Quality Commission (CQC) that managers had attempted to actively deceive the regulator by “hiding incidents and low staff numbers . . . and concerns regarding the inexperience of staff and lack of training.”

The concerns were shared as part of the CQC’s review of the provider, which took place between 2 July and 2 August 2019. The regulator said that 22 locations had a current breach of regulation (as of April 2019) and in the 12 months up to April 2019 it had had 37 concerns from whistleblowers or staff.

The inspections of Cygnet’s services followed an undercover investigation by BBC Panorama which showed adults with learning disabilities and autism being abused by staff at Whorlton Hall, a specialist hospital in the north east of England.

Nine of Cygnet Health Care’s services have been rated as …

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