Hinchingbrooke Healthcare Trust is failing to protect patients from “unsafe or inappropriate care, treatment and support”, the Care Quality Commission has ruled

The CQC found the trust had broken its promise it would be equipped to protect service users from abuse or risk of abuse by last September.

The Cambridgeshire-based acute trust failed to put measures in place to improve its services despite promising to do so when it registered with the CQC.

The regulator has published its verdict following a review of the trust last December and reports of malpractice made to the National Patient Safety Agency.

Its report highlights particular concern over lack of staff training in acceptable patient “control and restraint” methods.

The trust has already given an initial response to the CQC outlining how it will improve training and procedures to protect patients from abuse.

The CQC’s eastern regional director Frances Carey said it is reviewing the trust’s response: “We will consider taking enforcement action if our subsequent check reveals that the trust remains non-compliant, in order to ensure that people are protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their human rights are respected and upheld.”

The trust’s medical director Richard Dickinson and director of nursing, midwifery and operations Liz Pointing said in a joint statement: ““We take this report extremely seriously and we would like to reassure our patients that we continuously strive to provide the highest level of patient care.

“Since our registration [with the CQC in April 2010], we have employed a full-time adult safeguarding lead who is dedicated to ensuring that the trust provides a safe quality service.  A primary focus of this role is to ensure that we have the correct systems, processes and training in place to safeguard our patients.”