Frequent assaults, frightened patients and poor staff morale at the Wellesley Hospital, which opened at Chelston last year, are described in a highly critical report by the Care Quality Commission which inspected the secure psychiatric facility recently.
Inspectors said there were a high number of assaults at the Wellesley which is run by Elysium Healthcare. The CQC also found the rights of patients in a low-security ward were not being respected. Elysium Healthcare, operators of the hospital, said it had worked hard to address the areas of concern.
The CQC said one of the two wards inspected had a “high volume” of assaults by patients on staff and other patients due to the “mix of patients” being cared for. Some staff described low morale, but did not feel able to raise this with senior managers for fear of recrimination.
Karen Bennett-Wilson, head of hospital inspection for CQC, the government health regulator, in the South West, said: “We were obviously very concerned.
“It provided quite an unsafe situation for staff, because they weren’t able to manage the patients appropriately, and for patients, because of the nature of their illness they needed to be kept safe but staff at the time were finding that very, very difficult.
“What we asked the organisation to do immediately was to address those areas before they admitted any further patients and before we conducted any further inspections.”
A spokesman for Elysium said the hospital, which opened in January 2017, was continuing to build and develop its clinical teams. A statement said: “We are investing in training, recruitment and the development of the hospital-wide team and our aim is to deliver high-quality services for local patients.”