Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Crowthornes Broadmoor Reported as Unfit for it's Purpose.

A report by the Care Quality Commission in July criticised West London Mental Health NHS Trust for ‘failing to tackle a series of shortcomings’. Broadmoor high security hospital is home to 260 patients, which include the Yorkshire Ripper and Stockwell Strangler. Eight of its residents have killed themselves in the last eight years.

One reason for Broadmoors high suicide rate is opportunities that patients have to hang themselves as Broadmore still has window bars. Broadmoor is a listed building which means that it currently can not remove curtain rails and hooks and window bars. The other reasons stated by the report include lack of supervision, management of risks, sub-standard buildings, bed shortages, health care and not enough staff with the right training.

West London Mental Health Trust has been in communication with English Heritage however English Heritage claims that this subject has not been approached (As reported by the BBC here). It would appear that West London Mental Health Trust need to make this point to a English Heritage as strong as they can as keeping these hook points there is in itself madness. The listed status does not mean that no alterations can take place; it simply means that alterations have to be given listed building consent so minor works can be done.

Of course all this can be improved by the planned redevelopment of Broadmoor which was built in 1863! Broadmoor in other words is simply out-of-date. Mental Health practices in the 1900’s were very different to how they are now (This has been well documented see here for example). Redevelopment was approved by the Secretary of State in November 2005.

The trust is currently reviewing four short listed options. This need to happen as soon as possible as a redevelopment of the hospital has been urgently needed for many years and would help lead towards better treatment and rehabilitation. In the mean time management need to take on board the findings of the report and make changes in both practice and some physical changes to the building itself.

Read more: http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=3145391#ixzz0PkWZumRi

However English Heritage is not the only organisation at fault.

Broad moor redevelopment plans http://www.wlmht.nhs.uk/services/b/broadmoor/redevelopment.html

West London Mental Health Trust response to the report http://www.wlmht.nhs.uk/news/press_releases/2009/06_statement_CQC.pdf

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