PERFORMANCE: Surrey and Borders Partnership Foundation Trust is conducting a detailed investigation into claims that a sedated patient with learning disabilities was attacked by a rat.

Tabloid media reports said that Jason Ketley was attacked shortly after going to bed at a specialist care unit in St Ebba’s hospital, Epsom, in January. His mother Pat Boardman was quoted as saying that Mr Ketley had been bitten a dozen times by a “rat”, which staff then killed.   

In a statement responding to the newspaper articles, trust director quality and nursing Jo Young said: “The events described here are genuinely shocking. This is why we have logged the events as a serious incident and are conducting a detailed investigation.”

She added: “We received Mrs Boardman’s complaint regarding these incidents last month and acknowledged this within three working days, on 25 January.”

But the trust has so far failed to confirm that the incident involved a rat. Ms Young said: “Our records indicate that a mouse was seen in the house in November and that pest control was alerted immediately.”

Ms Young also noted her disappointment that the family had gone to the press.

“We have maintained contact with the family since the incidents were reported and are disappointed that they felt unable to resolve their concerns through our complaints process alone,” she said.

“We take our responsibility for caring for vulnerable people very seriously and we will act on any findings from our investigation to ensure our high standards of care and support are maintained.”

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