We learn in the news headlines today that inspectors have found Calderstones NHS Trust must take urgent action because of serious deficiencies in the care given to patients.

In particular the restraining methods used have been criticised by the healthcare watchdog.

On a number of occasions patients have been held face down to the floor to restrain them, a method which is considered unsuitable. The relative of a patient was interviewed today on Radio 4 and indicated how distressing she found it when she learnt that her close relative had been held face down in a muddy garden for approximately 15 minutes as a restraining technique.

This is a restraint technique which is contrary to National Guidance.

The difficulty is that these failings often only come to light as a result of an investigation by a healthcare watchdog. The victims, as in this case, sometimes have significant learning difficulties which makes it harder for them to communicate the abuse that they have suffered.

It is entirely probable that if these restraint techniques have been regularly used on patients they will have grounds for a damages claim against the Trust.

Technically, these clients will probably be entitled to fund their claims through the Legal Aid Agency. Farleys have a specialist franchise to deal with this type of work which is known as a franchise covering Actions against Detaining Authorities.

It will therefore be interesting to see what fall out there is from the watchdog’s report and how many potential Claimants come forward who have been restrained using these techniques.

If you require further information or legal advice please don’t hesitate to contact Farleys. Our experienced team of expert solicitors have a wealth of experience pursuing Claims Against Public Authorities, please call 0845 050 1958 or alternatively you can email us.