Neil Thwaite, the CEO of GMMH NHS Trust in charge of the mental health unit in Prestwich at the centre of an undercover Panorama probe is set to step down from his role.
Shocking footage in the BBC programme showed staff at the Edenfield Centre mocking, slapping and pinching patients as well as them taunting and mocking patients in vulnerable situations.
Inappropriate restraint was commonly used showing patients in severe distress as well as locking up patients they regarded as “annoying” and “hard work” into seclusion rooms for up to weeks at a time.
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), which runs Edenfield, told Panorama it was taking the allegations “very seriously” and had taken “immediate actions to protect patient safety”.
A number of staff members were sacked and suspended, and the trust has worked with Greater Manchester Police, the independent healthcare regulator the Care Quality Commission and NHS England.
GMMH chief executive Neil Thwaite has now announced his resignation from his role and acknowledged the problems related to Edenfield in a statement.
He will continue as CEO for the next few months, serving out full notice while the trust begins “recruitment arrangements”.
Mr Thwaite said: “Following the awful failings highlighted at Edenfield and other challenges, the last six months have been incredibly difficult for everyone and through engaging with staff, service users, carers and stakeholders, we have worked on our plan to get the organisation on the right path for recovery.
“Now we have launched our improvement plan, which will be implemented over the next two years, I feel this is the right time to hand over the reins to a new CEO.
“The plan strengthens our approach to ensure the safety of our service users and staff, ensuring high quality care.”
Mr Thwaite began his tenure as chief executive of in 2018 after working as the trust’s deputy CEO and director of service development.
The trust said during his time as chief executive he has led the it through the pandemic and ongoing recovery, secured £105m worth of funding for the much-needed replacement of its inpatient unit in North Manchester, welcomed Wigan services.
He has also championed mental health and substance misuse issues across the Greater Manchester system, the trust added.
GMMH chair Bill McCarthy said: “Neil is a compassionate, visible leader in our organisation and across our system and I have enjoyed working with him during the last four months.
Source: Bury Times, 15th April 2023