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Urgent patient safety warning at hospital facing police probe

A private hospital facing a police investigation following a patient’s death has been given an urgent warning by the care regulator due to concerns over patient safety.

The Huntercombe Hospital in Maidenhead, which treats children with mental health needs, was told it must urgently address safety issues found by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following an inspection in March.

The CQC handed the hospital a formal warning due to concerns over failures in the way staff were carrying out observations of vulnerable patients.

The move comes as The Independent revealed police are investigating the hospital in relation to the death of a young girl earlier this year.

In a report published last week, the care watchdog said it had received “mainly negative” feedback from young people at the hospital’s Thames ward, a psychiatric intensive care unit which treats acutely unwell children.

Commenting on the hospital overall, the report said: “Young people told us that staff did not follow the care plans in relation to their level of observations. They told us that if there was an incident the staff stopped doing intermittent observations. Staff in charge of shifts on wards asked new staff members to do observations before they understood how to do it. Staff had to ask the young person how to carry out their observations as they did not always understand what was expected of them in carrying out different levels of observations.”

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Source: The Independent, 19 May 2022


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