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Patients died after catalogue of errors by Priory mental health chain

NHS bosses have attacked the country’s leading private mental healthcare chain for failing to keep patients safe, The Times has learnt, as an investigation reveals the Priory Group has been criticised for failings in the care of 30 patients who have died.

An investigation by this newspaper reveals that the company, which earns at least £400 million a year from public sector contracts for looking after mentally ill patients, has been repeatedly criticised for the same failures of care over the past decade.

This week the Priory was criticised in the inquest of Eliana Hanton, 20, who died after hanging herself using a ligature point that had been highlighted as a risk in an internal audit four months earlier.

An inquest in Birmingham last week concluded that neglect by the Woodbourne Priory Hospital contributed to the death of Matthew Caseby, 23.

The company has repeatedly been criticised for the same failings in relation to patient deaths, leading to questions about whether it is learning from its mistakes, including inadequate or inaccurate risk assessments, staff's lack of training or expertise, a failure to address known ligature points or escape routes and materials which could be used to self-harm, and poor record keeping.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 29 April 2022


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