• Private provider commissioned by NHS trusts when there are no beds available has been rated inadequate 
  • The hospital, called Mayfield Court, has since stopped admitting patients 
  • The CQC’s concerns focussed on poor premises which in some cases were without hot water

A private mental health hospital, used by NHS trusts when there are no available beds, has been rated “inadequate” and put into special measures by the Care Quality Commission.

Mayfield Court, owned by ASC Healthcare, based in Manchester, stopped admitting NHS patients after the inspection in July. 

Inspectors found some rooms within the hospital were showing signs of damp, while some had no blinds, or had been graffitied. It also found bathrooms within the facility were dirty and two did not have hot water or working plumbing. 

The regulator said it has issued two formal warning notices to the provider, one of which related to concerns over its premises, the other to poor governance processes.

The report also revealed concerns over 10 incidents in which patients had been able to leave the facility without permission, since May 2019.

At the time of the inspection the provider had two patients admitted on to its wards. Both have since been either discharged or transferred to another provider and no further patients will be admitted while the provider’s new management team are addressing concerns.

The safety and quality regulator said it was prompted to inspect Mayfield Court after an inspection of another site run by the same provider, called The Breightmet Centre for Autism, which it rated “inadequate” in July.

In its inspection for the Breightmet Centre, the CQC found the site was also dirty, with food and human waste in some of the bedrooms and social areas.

Jenny Wilkes, head of mental health inspection for the CQC, said: “We found the environment was unclean in many areas and several items of furniture and room fixings were in need of urgent repair and maintenance. The lack of attention to detail was concerning and some issues went unnoticed or unreported, which risked people being exposed to avoidable harm.

“Whilst some of our findings were addressed following the inspection, we continue to have serious concerns about the provider’s ability to operate the service safely. We have placed this service into special measures and are keeping it under close review, alongside our partner agencies. We will return to inspect it again in due course.”

A spokesman for ASC Healthcare said it had put a voluntary embargo on admitting new service users since July this year so it can concentrate on addressing the CQC’s concerns. 

The provider added: ”We have recently recruited a new, experienced management team who are implementing a comprehensive action plan to improve our standards, including refurbishing the hospital and introducing more robust governance processes.”