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Private Essex hospital where staff abused patients was warned by CQC

The private company, Cygnet Healthcare, that ran an NHS learning disability hospital hit by revelations of staff abuse of vulnerable patients had been under scrutiny from the authorities over safety and safeguarding issues for months.

A catalogue of physical and emotional abuses of patients at the women-only Yew Trees unit in Essex was revealed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in September 2020 after an inspection triggered by CCTV footage of staff mistreating patients.

A CQC report said its inspectors had witnessed “abusive, disrespectful, intimidating, aggressive and inappropriate behaviour” by staff towards patients, including kicking, slapping and shoving, as well as failure to follow restraint guidelines.

Full story in The Guardian, 24 September 2020

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