Edenfield Centre: Minister backs public inquiry over abuseon October 13, 2022 at 11:05 am

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An undercover BBC investigation found patients being humiliated, verbally abused and bullied by staff.

Harley being restrained in undercover filming at the Edenfield Centre

The mistreatment of patients at a mental health hospital does warrant a public inquiry, a health minister has said.

A BBC Panorama investigation found a “toxic culture of humiliation, verbal abuse and bullying” at the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich near Manchester.

Hospital bosses said they took immediate action including suspending staff and launching a clinical review.

Minister Will Quince apologised to the patients and their families.

Responding to a question in the House of Commons from Bury South MP Christian Wakeford, Mr Quince said: “He asks whether I will apologise to the patients and their families, of course I will unequivocally do so.

“It should not have happened and it is our role as ministers, and in fact all those who work within the NHS, to do all we possibly can to prevent it from happening again.

“He asks for an independent inquiry, I believe it does meet the threshold to do so.”

Andrew Maloney, deputy chief executive of Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) NHS Foundation Trust which runs the centre, earlier told Manchester City Council’s health scrutiny meeting that disciplinary procedures started as soon as it was informed of the allegations with a “significant number of staff” suspended.

He said senior staff were deployed to the centre, which was closed to new admissions, and it launched an independent clinical review of the centre with the findings expected to be reported to the trust’s board by the end of this month, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

However, the committee was not satisfied with the response, describing the situation at the centre as a “catastrophic disaster”.

Labour Councillor Pat Karney said the “failure of senior leadership” merits a public inquiry, saying it was “unimaginable” the issues were not picked up.

‘Put right wrongs’

Other councillors questioned whether whistleblowers had reported these issues to the trust before the investigation.

However, Mr Maloney said he could not answer questions about the ongoing investigation due to the sensitive nature of the allegations made by the BBC.

Greater Manchester Police’s investigation into the allegations is also ongoing.

Edenfield Centre

Image source, BBC

Labour Councillor Tom Robinson, executive member for Healthy Manchester and Adult Social Care, said he would write to the Secretary of State for Health requesting a public inquiry into the allegations.

He said: “I, like many, watched that documentary and there’s a certain point that made me cry.

“We have a duty to those patients who are now victims and the courage demonstrated by their families to… do everything we can in partnership with the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust.”

Speaking on behalf of the trust at the meeting, Mr Maloney said: “We are wholeheartedly committed to do whatever it takes to put right these wrongs and to preventing them from happening again.”

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