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150 ‘sexual safety incidents’ reported at ‘inadequate’ service in six months

A mental health trust’s acute and intensive care wards have been downgraded to “inadequate”, following a series of incidents including sexual assaults, fire setting, and patients taking their own lives while on leave.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection was prompted by reports of several serious incidents involving patients in these services. These included three occasions where patients had taken their own lives while on leave from wards, and four incidents where fires had been set at the Redwoods Centre in Shrewsbury.

Inspectors also identified a steep rise in mixed accommodation breaches, with just one ward out of the four inspected at St George’s Hospital in Stafford and none of the three inspected at Redwoods providing single sex units. 

The CQC report added “there were concerns about the implications of mixed sex ward environments contributing to sexual safety incidents”, with 158 such incidents recorded in a six-month period leading up to the inspection. These included assaults, verbal threats of sexual assault, and sexual orientation related abuse, with 126 recorded at Redwoods and 32 at St George’s.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 19 May 2023


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