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Mental health hospital under investigation for abuse says it's taking 'urgent action'

Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said a number of staff at its Edenfield Centre had been suspended after an undercover investigation found what was described as a "toxic culture" of humiliation, verbal abuse, and bullying of patients.

BBC Panorama reporter, Alan Haslam, spent 3 months as a support worker at the Centre in Prestwich. Wearing a hidden camera, he said he observed staff swearing at patients, mocking them, and falsifying observation records.

A consultant psychiatrist, Dr Cleo Van Velsen, who was asked by the BBC to review its footage, said it showed a "toxic culture" among staff at the Centre with "corruption, perversion, aggression, hostility, [and a] lack of boundaries".

Dr Van Velsen told the BBC that staff members at the Edenfield Centre acted "like a gang, not a group of healthcare professionals".

Patients at the Centre told the undercover reporter that they felt "bullied and dehumanised".

Greater Manchester Police said it was working with the Crown Prosecution Service with a view to prosecuting anyone who had committed a crime. 

In a statement, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are taking the allegations raised by Panorama very seriously since the BBC sent them to us earlier this month. We have put in place immediate actions to protect patient safety, which is our utmost priority.

"Since then, senior doctors at the Trust have undertaken clinical reviews of the patients affected, we have suspended a number of staff pending further investigations, and we have also commissioned an independent clinical review of the services provided at the Edenfield Centre. "

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Source: Medscape. 29 September 2022


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