Manchester Council calls for public inquiry into mental health unit at centre of BBC Panorama investigation

Shocking undercover footage at the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich appeared to show patients being neglected and treated inappropriately as well as poor care.

Manchester City Council will ask the government for a public inquiry into a mental health unit at the centre of a BBC Panorama investigation earlier this year.

Undercover footage of the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich included allegations of inappropriate and neglectful behaviour, a toxic staff culture and poor care.

Andrew Maloney, deputy chief executive of Greater Manchester Mental Health (GMMH) NHS Foundation Trust which runs the centre, told councillors at a health scrutiny meeting today on Wednesday (October 12) about the action taken in response.

However, the health scrutiny committee was not satisfied with this, describing the situation as a “catastrophic disaster”.

What has the GMMH NHS Foundation Trust done since the allegations were aired?

Disciplinary procedures started as soon as GMMH was informed of the allegations, Mr Maloney told the scrutiny committee, and a ‘significant number of staff’ were suspended.

Senior clinical and operational management staff were deployed to the centre, which was closed to new admissions to ensure appropriate working practices.

And an independent clinical review of the centre is now under way and is expected to report its finding to the trust’s board by the end of this month.

What did the scrutiny committee say in response?

The health scrutiny committee said it was not satisfied with what the Trust had done. Labour councillor Pat Karney said the ‘failure of senior leadership’ merited a public inquiry, saying it was ‘unimaginable’ that the issues were not picked up.

Other councillors questioned whether whistleblowers had reported these issues at the centre to the trust before the BBC Panorama 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 investigation into the allegations is also ongoing.

Labour councillor Tom Robinson, who is the executive member for Healthy Manchester and Adult Social Care at the town hall, 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 go away and do everything we can in partnership with the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust.”

Speaking on behalf of GMMH at the health scrutiny committee 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.

Full story here

Source: Manchester World, 13th October 2022

Published by CHARM Greater Manchester

CHARM, the Community for Holistic, Accessible, Rights Based Mental Health was launched by The Organic Recovery Learning Community in September 2020.

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