BOSSES at Russells Hall hospital have hit back at allegations patients were locked up and restrained against their will.
Former Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust head of security John Marchant told The Sunday Telegraph he feared patients’ welfare was ignored to make life easier for medical staff.
He also claimed vulnerable patients were routinely forced to stay in their rooms or confined to bed despite posing no danger and without proper assessments.
However Paula Clark, chief executive of Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was quick to deny any suggestion patients were detained unnecessarily, she added “dynamic” mental capacity assessments were always carried out.
Ms Clark said: “We emphatically refute the suggestion that we have ever unlawfully restrained patients at The Dudley Group.
“The heath and well being of our patients is our absolute priority and we always act in the best interests of our patients.
“It is our priority not to restrain patients. In The very small instances where this necessary, it is to prevent harm to patients. We adopt a reasonable and proportionate approach that reflects our Restrain of Adult Patient Policy.”
The Trust admitted two years ago security staff raised concerns about being asked to restrain patients without proper assessments.
They say the concerns were taken seriously but insisted the dynamic assessments were always carried out, although policies at the time were revised to make them more explicit.
The Sunday Telegraph article also referred to another report from last April which claims guards were called to patients described as violent, only to find there was no evidence of violent behaviour.
Ms Clark said: “The Trust’s security is provided by our PFI partners Summit Healthcare via their contract with Interserve FM.
“The report was legal advice sought by Interserve FM and we were pleased to fully support them in seeking assurance about restraining patients.
“However we do not agree with Interserve Fm’s assertions made in the report; they are Interserve’s interpretation of the situation.”