'Inadequate' West Lane mental health unit in Middlesbrough ordered to close

'Inadequate' West Lane mental health unit in Middlesbrough closed by authorities Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The West Lane mental health unit in Middlesbrough, where two teenagers died, has been forced to close after it was rated 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission.

The hospital cares for young people with mental health issues including eating disorders.

The CQC told us they are working to arrange 'appropriate alternative care' for 12 young people, aged from possibly as young as 12 up to the age of 18.

Here are the details we have so far:

  • In November 2018, concerns were raised about the way patients were handled and 17 staff members were suspended

  • In June 2019, Christie Harnett, 17, from Newton Aycliffe was found dead in a bathroom

  • Later that month, a temporary ban was put in place to stop further admissions there

  • In August 2019, a second patient, Nadia Sharif, 17, was found injured and later died

Christie Harnett, 17, died in June 2019 Credit: Family photo
Nadia Sharif, 17, died in August 2019. Credit: Family

In a statement, the CQC said:

Head of Inspection at the Care Quality Commission, Karen Bennett-Wilson, said the unit did not make the recommended changes.

The MP for Middlesbrough, Andy McDonald spoke to ITV News about the closure and said he would continue to support the families involved.

In an unrelated CQC inspection, ITV News has learnt that Cygnet Chesterholme in Hexham, which is an independent hospital caring for people with learning disabilities and autism - has also been rated 'inadequate' after their latest inspection.

It comes after a BBC Panorama programme raised serious allegations of abuse against patients at Cygnet Wharlton Hall, in May this year.

The unit has been put into special measures after concerns were raised following the report that staff turnover was at 45%, with a high number of staff who were unqualified or untrained and 'no explanation' for 27 serious incidents.

However, the report did say that the hospital was clean and most patients experience of staff was positive, with the hospital receiving a good rating for its care.

Cygnet Chesterholme in Hexham Cygnet Chesterholme in Hexham has also been rated below standard Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

We contacted Cygnet Healthcare for a statement:

The unit will be re-inspected in six months time.