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Mental health hospital in Suffolk closed after 'unacceptable' care

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A mental health hospital in Suffolk has been closed after inspectors found it was failing to protect patients from harm and abuse.

St John's House in Palgrave, near Diss, was previously rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). A further inspection of the 49-bed hospital found the care was "unacceptable" and "insufficient progress had been made regarding patient safety".

The company that runs the hospital, Partnerships in Care, part of the Priory Group, has now decided to close the site.

Stuart Dunn, CQC head of inspection for mental health and community services, said: "Our latest inspection of St John's House found an unacceptable service where insufficient improvements had been made to protect patients from harm and abuse and the number of safety incidents remained high."

"Staff weren't responding appropriately to patients who were self-harming, with one patient not being sent to hospital quickly enough after swallowing a foreign object, despite complaining of abdominal pain.

"We reviewed CCTV footage and found staff were sometimes asleep when they should have been observing patients to make sure they were safe. This was all the more concerning as we identified this as a concern during the previous two inspections of this service, demonstrating a lack of improvement to keep patients safe.

"Incidents of restraint remained high and not all staff had the right training to carry it out safely. In addition, staff were not following hospital policy when using soft handcuffs with patients during safety incidents."

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Source: ITV News, 17 September 2021

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