PERFORMANCE: The foundation trust was asked to meet with Monitor on 13 December to “consider whether the trust is in significant breach of its terms of authorisation”, according to newly published board minutes.

Minutes of the CWP board’s 7 December meeting reveal the request followed an unannounced visit to the trust’s Kent House facility by the Care Quality Commission. The visit “raised issues which have been communicated to Monitor” and resulted in Monitor downgrading CWP’s governance risk to red.

“As a consequence the board has been requested to attend a meeting with Monitor on the 13 December 2011 to consider whether the Trust is in significant breach of its terms of authorisation,” the minutes stated.

The CQC’s September 2011 report on the Kent House inpatient assessment and treatment centre for patients with learning disabilities found that staff were “not following agreed local safeguarding procedures” and this was “putting patients at risk of abuse”.

It continued: “Systems to check staff understanding and competency around safeguarding are not sufficiently robust. Reporting systems to social services were not followed.

“Staff lack understanding on their roles and responsibilities both in relation to the welfare of patients using the service, and in relation to whistle blowing.

“Behavioural plans have an emphasis on the use of restraint, and planned programmes of positive behavioural support with a clear emphasis on proactive strategies were lacking.

“Therefore, staff are over reliant on the use of restraint to manage patients behaviour. The use of restraint is not always appropriate, reasonable, proportionate and justifiable to that individual which therefore puts patient’s safety and dignity at risk.”

The CQC’s website states that it is “currently conducting checks on Kent House to see whether improvements we required have been implemented”.