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CQC requires improvement at an independent hospital in Heswall

20 February 2014
Regency Hospital Heswall
Regency Hospitals Limited

20 February 2014

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is taking action to protect the safety and welfare of patients at a privately run hospital in Heswall, Wirral.

In a report which is published today, CQC inspectors identified a series of concerns at Regency Hospital Heswall which provides care and treatment for people with mental health needs.

When they visited the hospital in November 2013 inspectors found that the provider, Regency Hospitals Limited, was failing to meet seven of the eight national standards reviewed.

As a result of the inspection, CQC has issued two formal warnings to the provider, requiring immediate improvements in relation to standards of care and welfare, and assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision.

The CQC’s report published today highlights the following concerns:

  • Care records showed that low staffing levels had led to some patients being unable to take their section 17 leave (a leave of absence granted to a patient by the responsible clinician under this section of the Mental Health Act 1983) or be involved in therapeutic activities to aid their recovery.
  • Discussions with the manager and nominated individual indicated that safeguarding referrals had been made to the local authority safeguarding team, however had not been reported to CQC.
  • Inspectors were concerned that the environment on one ward was not meeting the required standards to safely accommodate patients who require a low secure environment.
  • Appropriate steps had not been taken to ensure all qualified nurses held an up to date registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
  • Staff did not always receive adequate training and support and staff records contained limited information with regards to the training they had undertaken.
  • There was a lack of any effective system in place to monitor the quality and safety of the service being provided.
  • Where investigations into serious incidents had taken place these were not suitably robust and there was little evidence of any learning or actions having being taken to prevent reoccurrence. Local commissioners have decided to make alternative arrangements for the people they commission care for and all patients have now left the hospital.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC’s Regional Director for the North said:

“Our inspection of Regency Hospital Heswall was extremely concerning and we have warned the provider that improvements must be made.

“Although there are currently no patients receiving care, the Regency Hospital in Heswall remains registered with CQC. As such, we continue to monitor the hospital closely in liaison with local commissioners and should we find the hospital has not made the required improvements we will consider the need for any further regulatory action.”

Any regulatory decision that CQC takes is open to challenge by a registered person through a variety of internal and external appeal processes.


For further information please contact the CQC Regional Communications Team, David Fryer 07901 514 220 or Kirstin Hannaford 0191 233 3629.

The CQC press office can be contacted on 0207 448 9401 or out of hours on 07917 232 143.


Further details of the inspectors’ findings are published on our website here.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.

Last updated:
30 May 2017