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Alarm raised years before hospital’s ‘inadequate’ rating


Multiple concerns were being raised about an inpatient hospital for several years before it was rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), HSJ has learned.

Huntercombe Hospital in Maidenhead, which provides NHS-funded mental healthcare for children, was put into special measures in February after an inspection raised serious concerns over the apparent over-use of medication to sedate patients, among other issues. It has since received a further warning notice.

The unit, which predominantly treats female patients, had previously been rated “good” by the CQC in 2016 and 2019.

Five former patients and four parents have now told HSJ of poor care and practices at the unit between 2016 and 2020. Two of the families raised concerns directly to Huntercombe, as well as NHS England, local authorities and the local community provider, Berkshire Healthcare FT.

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Source: HSJ, 18 May 2021

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