BIMHN calls for increased scrutiny on treatment of inpatients after ward closure

September 13, 2017 at 11:54 am

BIMHN is calling for increased scrutiny over the treatment of inpatients. The call, follows the continued closure of mental health inpatient unit, Laurel Ward at Callington Road Hospital. This will include a user-led visit to review the ward.

Laurel Ward is a later life inpatient ward at Callington Road Hospital in Bristol. It was closed shortly before a CQC inspection in June 2017 with limited information made publicly available at the time of the closure.

It has since emerged that the closure was as a result of safety concerns raised amid a patient being “unlawfully restricted” after being locked in their room.


A spokesperson for Bristol Independent Mental Health Network (BIMHN) commented:

“We are deeply concerned over the ongoing closure of Laurel Ward. There must be increased scrutiny of the care people are receiving when residing in an inpatient setting. We recognise that patient safety and dignity must be a top priority when someone is being supported by mental health services, especially where their legal rights may be restricted under the Mental Health Act 1983. BIMHN will continue to monitor the situation closely and is making regular communications to both Bristol CCG and the service provider of the ward: Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP).”

Questions to AWP on Laurel Ward closure

In a response to a public statement released by AWP on 16th August, the following day BIMHN has written to the organisation. We are requesting further information and assurances on a number of issues, including:

  • Some family members and carers were not made aware at the time and in fact found out via the BBC news article. The statement suggests that all were notified at the time, could you please clarify this?
  • What were the circumstances that led to a patient being locked in their room?
  • How long was the patient locked in their room for?
  • What is being done in regards to training for staff to ensure they are effectively supported to carry out their roles? Does this include face-to-face training or just online/e-learning training?
  • Could you please confirm what steps are being taken to make the ward “dementia-friendly” and how this is being co-produced with service user and carer involvement?

Next steps…

Whilst we are yet to receive a formal response at the time of publication, we have separately agreed a visit will take place by BIMHN representatives next month along with visits to other wards at the hospital.

The Board of AWP shall be meeting this afternoon (Wednesday 13th September 2017, 3 – 4:30 pm) and BIMHN members will be in attendance.


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September 13, 2017 at 11:54 am | News | No comment