No new Herts County Council patients placed at Baldock Manor mental health unit since CQC report – but no official ban

PUBLISHED: 11:54 26 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:31 26 November 2016

The Baldock Manor mental health unit.

The Baldock Manor mental health unit.

Archant

The Baldock Manor psychiatric unit has received no new patients from Herts County Council since the publication of a damning Care Quality Commission report last month – but there is no bar to county patients going there in future.

Sir Oliver Heald.Sir Oliver Heald.

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald – who has been taking up concerns over the Manor – wrote to a constituent on Friday: “Herts does not send new patients there and is working hard to improve standards for those who are already patients.”

The letter’s recipient commented to the Comet: “Interesting that Herts no longer sends its patients there. Hardly a ‘local community benefit’ any longer.”

But while the council confirmed that it had made no new placements at the Manor since the CQC report – which relates to inspections last year – it added that patients were handled individually and that the council did not rule out new placements there.

A county council spokeswoman said: “We commission beds for people with learning disabilities and we place people on a case by case basis, thinking about the individual person and what is most suitable for their particular needs.

“We currently have two individuals placed at Baldock Manor, whose placements were made prior to the CQC report. We continue to work with the Manor to help them improve the quality of care they provide.”

Sir Oliver Heald has been in touch with the CQC and the county council’s director of health and community services Iain MacBeath to ensure authorities are taking matters at the Manor ‘as seriously as is necessary’.

Speaking to the Comet on Tuesday, the MP said he has had neighbours raise issues with him numerous times in recent months.

“From the CQC report we see that there are some concerns there about staffing and such,” he said.

“I’ve just asked the CQC what initiatives can be put in place to improve the system, but I haven’t received a response yet. I’m going to continue to press on this because there’s concern locally, and you want to see patients in this sort of hospital having the right conditions.”

Manor operators Nouvita Ltd declined to comment.

Read the CQC report by searching for ‘Baldock Manor’ at cqc.org.uk.

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