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Yew Trees hospital: Ten staff suspended at mental health unit

Ten workers at a mental health unit have been suspended amid claims patients were "dragged, slapped and kicked". Inspectors said CCTV footage recorded at the Yew Trees hospital in Kirby-le-Soken, Essex, appeared to show episodes of "physical and emotional abuse".

The details emerged in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report after the unit was inspected in July and August. A spokeswoman for the care provider said footage had been passed to police.

The unannounced inspections were prompted by managers at Cygnet Health Care, who monitored CCTV footage of an incident on 18 July.

At the time, the 10-bed hospital held eight adult female patients with autism or learning difficulties.

The CQC reviewed 21 separate pieces of footage, concluding that 40% "included examples of inappropriate staff behaviour". "People who lived there were subjected not only to poor care, but to abuse," a CQC spokesman said.

Workers were captured "physically and emotionally abusing a patient", and failing to use "appropriate restraint techniques", the report said. It identified "negative interactions where staff visibly became angry with patients" and two cases where staff "dragged patients across the floor".

"We witnessed abusive, disrespectful, intimidating, aggressive and inappropriate behaviour," the inspectors said.

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Source: BBC News, 23 September 2020


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