Dudley hospitals deny 'unlawful restraint' of patients

Related Stories

An NHS trust in charge of three hospitals in Dudley has strongly denied claims that its staff have unlawfully restrained patients.

It follows allegations that patients, including a 14-year-old child, were locked in their rooms.

The Department of Health (DoH) described the allegations as "serious" and confirmed an investigation was under way.

A spokesperson for the trust said it "emphatically" denied the allegations.

'Concerns probed'

Paula Clark, the trust's chief executive, said: "There is no truth in the claims."

She said that the concerns had been first raised by John Marchant, the trust's former head of security, more than two years ago and had been "fully investigated" at the time.

"We are surprised he is raising this some 12 months after he left the organisation," she added.

One of Mr Marchant's allegations refers to the restraint of a 14-year-old child. He said security staff refused to restrain the child because they did not believe it to be lawful.

However, Ms Clark said: "We only use proportionate restraint to safeguard the patients themselves, as well as our staff.

"We get, on occasions, adolescents who have behavioural problems. In the case I think Mr Marchant is referring to, we sought support from the local mental health trust and that child was kept in the hospital until a secure placement could be found.

Nurses trained

"We do our very best to make sure we are caring for people in the best way but patients can suddenly become violent and then we will call on the security team to come and help us.

"However, the medical and nursing staff are trained to assess the patients before any restraint is applied."

A spokesperson for the DoH said: "These are very serious allegations and we have passed this information to the Care Quality Commission for further investigation.

"We are absolutely clear that physical restraint should only ever be used as a last resort and it should be used for the shortest time possible. There are strict conditions that must be met before any patient is restrained or detained.

"This is precisely why we've asked the Royal College of Nursing to consult on how to reduce the use of restraint and restrictive practices in health and social care settings."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Birmingham & Black Country

Weather

Birmingham

11 °C 10 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    08:00: Good morning Stephanie Barnard BBC Local Live

    It's feeling quite mild this morning in Birmingham city centre, if not a little windy.

    I'm in the BBC WM newsroom bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.