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Cygnet Woodside unit put into special measures

A hospital for men with learning difficulties has been placed into special measures following an inspection amid allegations of abuse.

Posted on 23 December 2020

It is reported that two men have been arrested in connection with an alleged assault on 31 August, 2020 at Cygnet Woodside independent facility run by Caireach Limited in Beacon Road, Wibsey, Bradford.

Dr Kevin Cleary, CQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health, said: "Our latest inspection of Cygnet Woodside found that the hospital was not ensuring its patients' safety", reported the BBC.

The CQC report following an inspection in September said there had been a delay in staff reporting allegations of abuse towards patients on the nine-bed unit. It said the main ward area had a strong smell of urine and there were areas that were not clean.

Dr Cleary said there would be "further action to keep people safe" if inspectors saw insufficient improvement, reported the BBC.

Professor Ted Baker, chief inspector of hospitals, said Cygnet Woodside would be re-inspected in six months’ time and if enough had not been done to lift its rating from inadequate, then enforcement procedures would begin to prevent Caireach Limited from operating the service.

Leigh Day partner Alison Millar, who heads up the firm’s abuse team, said it is not the first time hospitals run by this provider have been criticised for unacceptable patient care – Whorlton Hall and Yew Trees were both Cygnet hospitals and others of its facilities have also been placed in special measures.

Alison Millar added:

“There must be grave concerns about this provider and whether it should be contracted to provide healthcare to vulnerable patients. However, wider than this – as we have repeatedly said – is the issue of the use of inpatient units and a model of care that continues to institutionalise patients with learning disabilities or autism rather than provide them with support and housing in the community.

“At a time of year when families of people with learning disabilities and / or autism will be missing their loved ones who are in residential units, this report will be extremely concerning. A New Year’s resolution for the Government, commissioners and the regulator must be to do more - much more - to stop placing people in residential / in-patient services in 2021.”

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Alison Millar
Abuse claims

Alison Millar

Alison Millar works in the human rights department at Leigh Day, where she is the Head of Abuse claims

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Abuse and exploitation

Acting on behalf of those who have suffered abuse

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Health and social care

We act for individuals trying to secure services and treatment to meet their needs to representing campaign groups challenging closures of local services