Following the BBC’s Panorama documentary revealing a ‘toxic culture of humiliation, verbal abuse and bullying’ at the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich, demands for a public inquiry have been widespread. Now, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a report following its inspection of services provided by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH).

GMMH recently came under scrutiny after an undercover BBC journalist recorded staff mistreating patients at the Edenfield Centre, Prestwich.

Staff were seen swearing at, mocking, slapping and pinching patients. Patients were held in seclusion rooms – designed for short-term isolation to mitigate immediate harm, for months at a time. Furthermore, the report showed that paperwork aimed to protect patients – observation logs, were frequently falsified.

Following the allegations, it is reported that GMMH has been placed under the highest level of NHS England intervention. A mandatory intensive package of support is to be agreed and delivered and progress will be monitored against an improvement plan.

Further scrutiny stemmed from the recent deaths of several young people at the Prestwich facility, including 18-year-old Rowan Thompson, whose death was “probably caused or contributed to” by communication failures on the part of the Trust, as found by an inquest in October.

The CQC carried out a series of unannounced inspections and its report, published 24th November 2022, identified a deterioration in how well-led the trust was, with a significant impact upon the standard of care being delivered.

Ann Ford, the CQC’s director of operations network north, said: “Our inspections of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust in June and July were prompted by information of concern, and we took enforcement action as a result. We found that leaders hadn’t taken action to remove risks in order to keep people safe, and that the board didn’t have full oversight of the risks which were present within clinical areas and their impact on people’s care.

 “Mandatory training figures were poor, and the trust hadn’t ensured enough staff were adequately prepared in areas such as fire safety, safeguarding, as well as basic and immediate life support which could place people at significant risk of harm.

 “Across the services we looked at, there weren’t enough registered nurses and healthcare assistants to ensure people got the care and treatment they needed with staff frequently working under the minimum staffing levels.

 “We expect to see leaders make rapid and widespread improvements and will continue to closely monitor this progress. We will return to carry out further inspections to ensure action has been taken and the quality and safety of services has improved.

 “If we’re not satisfied people are receiving safe care, we will not hesitate to take further action in line with our regulatory powers.”

The CQC has served the Trust with two Section 29A warning notices – one relating to ligature and fire risks and the other to staffing and governance – requiring notable improvement within a specified timescale.

How Farleys’ Inquests Department Can Help You

Here at Farleys, our expert team has extensive experience in assisting bereaved families through the inquest process in order to help them achieve the answers and justice they need.
The inquest into the death of Rowan Thompson was concluded last month, identified neglect (gross failure to provide basic medical care) in the events surrounding Rowan’s death. Rowan’s family were represented by Kelly Darlington and the inquests team at Farleys Solicitors alongside Ciara Bartlam of Garden Court North Chambers.

Farleys also represent the family of 17-year-old Charlie Millers, who was found unresponsive in his room at Prestwich Hospital following a history of mental health issues. The inquest into Charlie’s death is listed to begin January.

If you would like further information, or to speak with our team in confidence please call 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.