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14 Jan 2020

Mental health operator told to improve service by CQC

A CQC report into Cygnet Health Care has found the company’s “care and treatment did not always include best practice”. One of Britain’s biggest providers of mental health services to the NHS has been told by the industry regulator to take “immediate action” to improve its management.

Cygnet Health Care was found to be more likely to use physical restraint or seclude patients than other NHS providers during an investigation by the Care Quality Commission. There was also a higher number of assaults by other patients as well as self-harming incidents.

Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of SANE, comments:

“We have grave concerns about the NHS outsourcing the care of some of the most vulnerable and unwell patients to private providers such as Cygnet, when we see failures such as those highlighted today by the Care Quality Commission.

“Private providers can buy in experienced, highly trained staff, so it is shocking to hear of fundamental failings such as not training nurses in life support, or using more restraint than overstretched NHS services.

“Surely it is the task of all healthcare providers – whether public or private – to ensure safe, high-quality care and treatment?”

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