Health inspectors say they have taken enforcement action against a North East mental health trust and ordered it to make improvements.
ITV News Tyne Tees has learnt that The Care Quality Commission visited three hospitals run by the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust in January and it is understood serious concerns were raised about risk management.
The inspections took place at three of the hospitals run by the trust: West Park in Darlington, Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough and Cross Lane Hospital in Scarborough.
A CQC spokeswoman said: “CQC carried out a focused inspection of the acute wards for adults and psychiatric intensive care unit services at [TEWV] in January. Following that inspection we took enforcement action against the trust requiring it to make improvements within a specific timeframe. More details of the enforcement action and the inspection findings will be included in the inspection report which is due to publish soon.”
A TEWV spokeswoman said: “We are awaiting a final inspection report [from the January inspection]. Initial feedback from the CQC highlighted some areas where improvements were needed and we are addressing them as a priority."
There have been calls for a public inquiry into the trust after claims of a high number of preventable deaths of patients under its care.
The Labour MP for Middlesbrough, Andy McDonald, gave his reaction to the CQC findings:
The chief executive of the trust, Brent Kilmurray, has previously said he didn't believe failings were systematic, the trust wasn't unusual in the number of deaths it sees and that a public inquiry wasn't necessary.
The trust is also subject to an independent NHS England investigation following the deaths of three young women who had been patients at West Lane, a children's mental health hospital in Middlesbrough. Inspectors shut it down in August 2019.
It is due to reopen in April but will be managed by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.