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Cygnet Health Care has had a rough time of late. Earlier this year HSJ reported it had had 10 hospitals rated “inadequate” since October 2018, and the Care Quality Commission had raised serious concerns over the company’s overall leadership.

Now things have taken an even more serious turn, with a child and adolescent mental health services unit closed after unannounced inspections by the CQC. The unit – at Cygnet’s site at Godden Green, just outside Sevenoaks in Kent – had been in and out of trouble for several years and the eventual decision not to carry out providing CAMHS there was not too much of a surprise.

As Cygnet was quick to point out, part of the issue is its location – rural sites make it harder to attract the specialist staff needed. But this is also likely to be true of the one remaining service on the site – a 12 bed PICU unit for women, where some of the beds are commissioned by Kent and Medway and Social Care Partnership Trust.

The trust says it has reviewed the action plan for this unit and feels the quality of care was good, but it will continue to work closely with the unit and the CQC to ensure this remains the case.

Liverpool levels off

Cheshire and Merseyside is perhaps seeing the benefits of the stricter lockdown measures put in place in Liverpool earlier this autumn. Today HSJ reported that the area has seen a drop in new covid cases in recent days.

This has no doubt been helped by a flattening of new cases at Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, which saw a steep rise in new covid cases at the start of October. Liverpool was made subject to stricter lockdown measures before other areas this autumn.

Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire are now seeing the highest numbers of new coronavirus cases in hospital. They have both had surges in new covid cases, while Cumbria and the North East is also rising fast.