Staff at Edenfield sacked following airing of Panorama investigation

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The number of people dismissed at the Edenfield Centre has not been revealed

The Edenfield Centre (stock image) (Image: ABNM Photography)

Staff have been sacked following claims in a BBC Panorama programme patients were abused at an NHS mental health unit. More than 20 members of staff were suspended at the Edenfield Centre, on the grounds of the former Prestwich Hospital.

Confirmation of sackings comes as demands grow for a public inquiry. Manchester council will ask the government for exactly that following the Panorama investigation. The show was aired last month.

The number of people dismissed has not been revealed.

There are fears, a council committee hearing was told, alleged abuse of patients at the Edenfield Centre is happening at other Greater Manchester mental health treatment units.

Some staff were filmed by an undercover Panorama reporter embedded in the unit from March to June of this year. The footage appeared to show patients being bullied, humiliated, swore at and taunted by some members of staff.

In a briefing note issued by Neil Thwaite, chief executive of Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust, which runs the unit, stakeholders are told: “I can now confirm that, following formal disciplinary procedures, the trust has dismissed a number of staff. A number of other staff remain suspended pending further investigation.

“Given the legal sensitivities, the trust cannot provide further detailed information, but I want to assure you that pursuing this rapid course of disciplinary action is just one part of our plan for recovery and remediation.”

He adds: “The trust board continues to work closely with NHS England, the Ministry of Justice, NHS Greater Manchester (our local Integrated Care Board), GMP and Bury Safeguarding Unit. Our principal objective remains the wellbeing of our patients and the provision of the best possible care for the communities we serve.”

The note also says that after receiving information from the BBC on September 8, the trust ‘acted immediately to protect patient safety’. That included conducting a senior-led clinical reviews of all the affected patients to ensure their safety and wellbeing and deploying additional senior clinical and operational management to the Edenfield Centre to ensure appropriate working practices are being followed.

The unit is currently closed to new admissions. It normally has 600 staff looking after 200 adult patients on 11 male and female adult wards. A number of wards have been closed since the programme was aired.

The trust has commissioned an independent clinical review of the Edenfield Centre, led by a senior clinician from another NHS trust, which has begun. Greater Manchester Police has launched a criminal investigation into the allegations.

In a previous briefing note to stakeholders, Mr Thwaite said: “The depiction of behaviours in the Edenfield Centre is not reflective of the vast majority of our services, or our staff, but we are not complacent about this matter and are fiercely determined to put things right. As we seek to put right the wrongs that have recently emerged, the Trust is committed to honesty, candour and transparency in all our dealings.”

Full story here

Source: Manchester Evening News, 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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