Unit shut after child protection worries

The Healthcare Commission has closed a privately run unit for adolescents with learning difficulties after Norfolk Council raised child protection concerns.

The commission found a lack of procedures to ensure that employees had the clearances, qualifications and experience to work in the Harleston unit at St Luke’s Hospital in Attleborough. It housed 13 patients aged 13-17.

Staff had not received adequate training to care for children with learning difficulties and lacked training in child protection, inspectors also found.

The directors of Mild Professional Homes, which owns St Luke’s Hospital, decided not to go to court and voluntarily agreed to shut the unit .

It has also emerged that earlier this year medical staff recruitment agency Mild Professional Care, part of the Mild Professional Homes group, was struck off the UK’s biggest professional recruitment body.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, an industry watchdog, expelled Mild Professional Care, based in Rochford, Essex, in May after an employment tribunal.

The confederation said a locum doctor brought a claim against Mild Professional Care for failing to provide 25,000 in unpaid wages.

Mild Professional Care declined to comment.

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