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‘Appalled’ NHSE director orders safety review at all providers

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The NHS’ mental health director has branded abuse exposed at a city inpatient unit as “heartbreaking and shameful” and ordered a national review of safety across all providers.

In a letter to all leaders of mental health, learning disability and autism providers, shared with HSJ, Claire Murdoch responded to BBC Panorama’s exposure of patient abuse at the Edenfield Centre run by Greater Manchester Mental Health FT by warning trusts they should leave “no stone unturned” in seeking to eradicate and prevent poor care.

An investigation by the programme found a “toxic culture of humiliation, verbal abuse and bullying” at the medium-secure inpatient unit in Prestwich near Manchester.

In response, Ms Murdoch said the mindset that “it could happen here” must be at the front and centre of national and local approaches, adding that trusts which already adopt this outlook are most likely to identify and prevent toxic and closed cultures.

She also urged all boards to urgently review safeguarding of care in their organisations and identify any immediate issues requiring action now, such as freedom to speak up arrangements, complaints, and care and treatment reviews. A separate national probe into the quality of inpatient care is due to launch imminently.

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Source: HSJ, 30 September 2022

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