Nurses among staff suspended at young people’s mental health unit

Trust investigates concerns about techniques used for moving patients at Middlesbrough centre

Trust investigates concerns about techniques used for moving patients at Middlesbrough centre

The Westwood Centre at West Lane Hospital, Middlesbrough. Picture: Google

Nurses and healthcare assistants are among 17 members of staff who have been suspended from work at a centre for young people experiencing mental health difficulties.

‘Non-approved techniques’

Concerns were raised in November about staff using ‘non-approved techniques’ for moving patients at the Westwood Centre at West Lane Hospital, Middlesbrough.

The low secure unit, which reopened in 2014 following a multi-million pound refurbishment, provides 24-hour support for young people aged 12-18 years old and has 12 bedrooms.

Additional staff have been assigned to the centre temporarily while an investigation is carried out by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust’s 2017 person-centred behaviour support policy states that all staff are required to attend training that covers ‘physical techniques’, which should be used while ‘maintaining safety and dignity’.

Trust director of nursing and deputy chief executive Elizabeth Moody said: ‘We expect staff to show respect for the dignity and well-being of patients and we take allegations that could suggest otherwise extremely seriously.

‘We have robust procedures in place in line with national NHS policy to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients and staff.

‘Concerns were raised that some procedures and guidelines were not being followed correctly.'

Full investigation

Ms Moody said patients are the trust's priority and it responded quickly to these concerns.

‘We are currently carrying out a full and thorough investigation into what happened. We are not able to provide more detailed information while this is ongoing.

‘We have also spoken to the families of the young people on the ward and assured them that we are taking appropriate action.’

A trust spokesperson was unable to confirm how many members of the suspended staff are healthcare assistants or nurses.

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