The Care Quality Commission has published 20 reports into the level of care offered to people at hospitals and care homes.
Last month, it announced it had issued a formal warning to Walkern Lodge, a women’s hospital in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, run for the NHS and social services by private firm Cambian Learning Disabilities Limited.
Inspectors said they had “major concerns” regarding safeguarding of patients at the hospital and published a full report today on their findings.
During the visit, inspectors found staff saying they regularly restrained people with learning disabilities but proper logs were not kept and managers denied this even happened.
They also found staff displaying bullying behaviour and no logs of incidents such as patients’ money going missing.
Two staff were suspended during the investigation.
Inspectors said: “We asked the registered manager for the restraint log book, so that we could assess the level of restraint occurring in the service. They informed us that they do not use restraint, and that the service has not done so for a long time.
“They told us that the last time they believed restraint was used was in August 2010.
“This view was contradicted by staff, who stated that they do use restraint.
“We saw daily records and incident reports showing that restraint was being used regularly in the service.
“This included one seated restraint where a patient had been held down on the ground in the garden, which had lasted seven minutes.”
The CQC said it had been back to inspect Walkern Lodge since its initial assessment and was satisfied “necessary improvements” had now been made.
Across the 20 reports published yesterday, just one in five hospitals and care homes met national standards for both care and welfare and safeguarding patients from abuse.
Of 67 reports published so far (including the latest 20), just 17 providers were compliant with both standards.
Inspectors also expressed major concerns over safeguarding at Bloomfield Court, and 5/6 Ivy Mews in London, run by private firm CuroCare Limited.
A statement from Cambian said: “Staff at Walkern Lodge have been aware of the concerns raised by the CQC since late 2011 when they issued their original warning notice, which was a precursor to the report published today.
“Since this time we have been working collaboratively, through a transparent and open dialogue with the CQC, and have developed a clear action plan to address these concerns, together with training from the local safeguarding team.”
Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “People with learning disabilities deserve individualised care, and these inspections are rooting out unacceptable practice.
“Where concerns are raised, both the NHS and local authorities have already begun to take action.
“Providers must provide good care, but commissioners must design and buy the right services in the first place.”