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‘Insufficiently curious’ leaders ‘tolerated’ safety failures

Leaders at a mental health trust tolerated high levels of safety incidents and accepted verbal assurance with ‘insufficient professional curiosity’, a critical report has found.

An NHS England-commissioned review into governance at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation Trust has been published, reviewing the organisation’s response to serious safety concerns flagged at the former West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough.

It follows separate reports identifying “systemic failures” over the deaths of inpatients Christie Harnett, Nadia Sharif and Emily Moore.

The new report, conducted by Niche Consulting, criticises board and service leaders’ handling of concerns about the regular occurrence of restraint and self-harm.

More than a dozen incidents of inappropriate restraint, some seeing patients dragged along the floor, were identified in November 2018, resulting in multiple staff suspensions and some dismissals. 

Niche found there was a “lack of accountable leadership at all levels” and lack of evidence for decisions in response to the November 2018 incidents.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 21 March 2023


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