Leadership of the company criticized by commission

Helping a person with learning difficulties

Helping a person with learning difficultiesImage Copyright
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Inspectors have expressed concern about leadership in a company at the center of a BBC exhibition on reports of abuse in a mental health hospital.

Panorama's investigation, issued in May, was based on a covert filming in the Durham County Learning Disabilities Unit, Whorlton Hall.

The Quality of Care Commission (CQC) continued with an investigation into the management of Cygnet Health Care.

The firm said it was addressing the concerns that had been raised.

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The CQC found that patients under the care of the company were more likely to be restricted.

The inspectors also observed higher rates of self-injury that questioned managers and analyzed the records at the company's headquarters.

Cygnet offers more than 100 services for vulnerable adults and children, caring for people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and eating disorders.

What else did the inspectors find?

The regulator found a lack of clear lines of responsibility between the executive team and its services.

He said that the identity and disclosure of the directors and the restriction service verifications had been carried out.

Bit said the necessary checks had not been carried out to ensure that the directors and board members met the "adequate and adequate" person test for their duties.

The systems used to manage risk were also criticized, while training for intermediate life support was not provided to all relevant personnel in all services where physical intervention or rapid reassurance was used.

However, the CQC said the senior leadership team was responding to concerns and noted that most of the services managed by the provider were rated as good and some as outstanding.


Whorlton Hall closed after the Panorama exhibition last year.

Cygnet said he was taking steps to improve services, but added that he "was not complacent" and would "take into account" the recommendations.

A spokeswoman added: "We treat some of the most acute patients that other providers cannot or do not want to support.

"Our goal is always to reduce the scale and defend the least restrictive practices in accordance with current good practice guidelines."

The unit at the center of the BBC's accusations has been closed. Although it was privately managed, it was funded by the NHS.