Learning difficulty services at Sutton and Merton trust ‘not acceptable’, say inspectors

Chief executive of the Healthcare Commission Anna Walker has slammed the standard of services provided by Sutton and Merton Primary Care NHS Trust as “simply not acceptable in the 21st century“.

A highly-critical report, published by the commission, says people with learning difficulties have been neglected because of the “outmoded institutionalised” care provided by the trust.

Serious failings listed in the report include inappropriate use of restraint. In one case, a woman had been routinely restrained for many years through the use of an arm splint, applied to prevent her putting her hand in her mouth.

It comes six months after an investigation into Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust revealed revealed neglect and abuse.

Walker said: “It is the second case of neglect of people with learning disabilities within the space of six months. This confirms that we are right to be concerned about the quality of care of people throughout England.”

The trust has nine weeks to draw up an action plan to address the 25 recommendations in the report.

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