Rehab unit Knole Centre to close after secret filming revealed poor care

Grant Clarke and Binny
Image caption Grant Clarke's partner Binny Moore installed a secret camera in his room in Sevenoaks

A neurological rehabilitation centre where poor care of a brain-damaged patient was filmed secretly by worried relatives is to close.

Staff at West Kent Neuro Rehab Unit were filmed cleaning Grant Clarke's feeding tube with a pen and giving him drinks when he was nil-by-mouth.

The unit in Sevenoaks, now renamed Knole Centre, will shut on 24 December.

The NHS trust which runs it said bad publicity had affected the unit's ability to recruit and retain staff.

Patient's treatment filmed in secret

Grant Clarke had a massive brain haemorrhage in 2012, at the age of 43 and after 12 weeks in hospital was transferred to Sevenoaks.

After raising concerns on a number of occasions about his treatment his partner Binny Moore installed a secret camera in his room.

Footage passed to BBC's Newsnight programme revealed:

  • The tube fitted for his food and medication was cleaned by a member of staff with the nib of a pen.
  • Despite him being nil-by-mouth, another healthcare assistant gave Mr Clarke drinks of water five times over two nights.
  • Though he could barely speak, his call bell was removed three times in 10 days.

Mr Clarke's family made 26 complaints to Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT), most of which were upheld.

KMPT originally intended to close Knole - an eight-bed unit for people with brain injuries or neurological illness - in April 2016.

The date has been brought forward because keeping it open over Christmas would be "clinically unsafe".

Patients will now receive care based on their individual needs from other local private and NHS providers in the community or acute settings.

A report being considered by Medway councillors on Thursday says adverse publicity has affected the unit's ability to recruit and retain staff.

Image caption Secret filming revealed Mr Clark's feeding tube being cleaned with a pen nib

Ms Moore said it was a "crying shame" the unit was closing because patients would have to go to London for care.

"It's the right decision that KMPT shouldn't be managing it because they have proved they are not up to the standard of what is needed by patients," she said.

"It should be handed over to a service provider with a proven track record of excellence in care."

KMPT said in a statement the high cost of providing a quality and safe service meant it was not sustainable.

"Our staff are highly valued and anyone currently working at the Knole Centre will be redeployed to other areas across the trust," it said in a statement.

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