• CQC has taken urgent action to close a child and adolescent mental health unit run by a trust in the North East
  • The unit, run by Tees, Esk and Wear Valley’s FT, was rated inadequate this week
  • News comes following the deaths of two teenagers treated at the unit earlier this year

An NHS children’s mental health unit has been closed down by the Care Quality Commission after being rated “inadequate” earlier this week.

A child and adolescent mental health ward run by Tees, Esk and Wear Valley’s Foundation Trust has been closed after the CQC took enforcement action to protect the safety of patients.

The regulators decision comes after it published a report this week rating the CAMHS unit, called West Lane Hospital, “inadequate”.

Earlier this year, the trust came under scrutiny after two teenagers treated in the unit killed themselves within weeks of each other.

The CQC’s report, based on an inspection carried out in June, found the trust was not delivering safe care and patients were at high risk of avoidable harm.

It also raised various concerns over staffing within the unit, including: “substantial and frequent” staff shortages; staff did not adequately assess, monitor or manage risks to patients; staffing levels were insufficient and the skill mix was not adequate to meet the needs of patients.

In 2017, the trust was named lead provider in one of NHS England’s new care model pilots for CAMHS tier three and four services, meaning the trust managed specialised commissioning budgets for the services in the north east and north Yorkshire.

In a statement today, a CQC spokesman said: ”[We have] taken urgent enforcement action at Tees, Esk and Wear Valley’s Foundation Trust which will lead to the closure of the child and adolescent mental health service units at West Lane Hospital.

“The Holly unit at West Park Hospital and Baysdale Unit at Roseberry Park are unaffected. The action follows continued concerns identified at earlier inspections in June and August, and the recent inspection on 20 and 21 August 2019.

“Inspectors are currently working closely with the trust and NHS England who are arranging appropriate alternative care and support for the young people affected, in a safe and timely manner.

“The report from the most recent inspection in August will be published in due course. Any action taken by CQC is open to appeal by the provider.”

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