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Archived: Priory Hospital High Wycombe Inadequate


Inspection carried out on 4 to 5 December 2018

During a routine inspection

We rated Priory Hospital High Wycombe as inadequate because:

  • Staff did not have sufficient experience or training to care for young people with learning disabilities and/or autism.
  • The ward environment was not well adapted for young people with autism.
  • There were very few specialist assessments for young people with a learning disability or autism.
  • There was insufficient provision of psychological therapies.
  • Where individual needs had been identified these were not always appropriately addressed. For example, care plans were not always in an accessible format where needed and there were not individual programmes for therapeutic activities.
  • Young people did not have positive behaviour support plans in place.
  • Physical health observations were not always recorded.
  • Access to parts of the ward were restricted without clear reasons for this. This meant that some young people could not independently access the toilet or help themselves to a drink.
  • Young people were routinely searched when returning from leave, rather than this being based on their individual needs.
  • Compliance with mandatory training was very low and supervision was not always recorded.
  • Staff had a lack of understanding of Gillick competence.
  • Some relatives told us that communication at the hospital was poor and that they struggled to obtain copies of care plans and meeting minutes.
  • Staff did not always use appropriate language to describe young people’s behaviour.


  • All young people had up to date risk assessments in place.
  • The provider had good links with a local GP who visited the hospital weekly.
  • The hospital supported young people with their discharges and a few had already moved on to other services.
  • A young person told us they felt safe and comfortable on the ward.
  • Young people were able to personalise their bedrooms which they appreciated.

Following the inspection enforcement action was taken and the hospital was served with two warning notices in relation to Regulation 9 HSCA (RA) Person-centred care and Regulation 18 HSCA (RA) Staffing.

Following the inspection the provider made plans to transfer the young people from the hospital and applied to de-register the service with CQC.