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Private children’s unit shut down after CQC safety concerns

A privately run child and adolescent mental health unit has been closed permanently, with its residents moved elsewhere, after concerns were raised about their safety.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it had taken “urgent action to ensure the provider makes immediate and significant improvements” at the Cygnet Hospital in Godden Green, outside Sevenoaks in Kent, after a series of unannounced inspections last month and this month.

The hospital had a CAMHs unit with up to 23 beds – details of which have been removed from the company’s website. However, only a small number of beds were occupied and these patients were either discharged or transferred to other hospitals before the unit closed on Monday.

Last year Cygnet Health Care also launched a 12 bed female psychiatric intensive care unit on the site. Some of these beds have been commissioned by Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust since early this year, as there are no NHS female PICU sites in the county. This unit remains open, although the CQC said the concerns raised with it related to the safety of both PICU and CAMHs patients.

Karen Bennett-Wilson, the CQC’s head of hospital inspection and lead for mental health in the south, said: “CQC has also worked closely with NHSE/I, Cygnet Healthcare and other local partners who have taken the decision to close the CAMHS unit and move the young people in the service to other care appropriate to their needs."

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 20 October 2020


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