The Priory Group was fined £300,000 this week for the death of 14 year old Amy .
The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the Priory, who admitted a breach of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by failing to discharge its duty to ensure people were not exposed to health and safety risks.
The conviction was mainly because a ligature audit of Amy’s room had been carried out by an untrained member of staff and had identified risks which were not then followed up.
And, despite an Inquest finding on the checking of ligatures, the Priory Healthcare had failed to make the appropriate changes required by the CQC
So much for the power and oversight of the CQC, it would appear it can’t even make our hospitals safe.
Since the prosecution we are told,
‘that following work between the Priory and the Care Quality Commission there was now a much better understanding of young person suicide, and that “vital lessons have been learned”
But Amy’s mother insists that the Priory’s contract with the NHS should be ended.
95% of the Priory income is from the NHS.
Declaring “I don’t believe there’s any lessons learned’
How could they be, when Amy’s actual care was condemned by a jury, but apparently there do not appear to have been checks on whether these failings were rectified – ie staffing, levels, training, nor of Amy’s history that had made her a secure patient.
So we do not know what lessons the Priory learned nor how they learned them ?
And from a recent death of 16 year old William, in a North London Priory hospital in January, little appears to have changed.
It is in any event, a shocking indictment on the NHS, that their only regulation, is from an executive charged with prosecuting employers ( not NHS hospitals ) for unsafe systems of work, resulting in a small fine on a billion pound corporation.
The Priory Group, bought by USA Acadia for 1.28 billion, and now provides nearly a third of all NHS mental hospitals, the others mainly owned by UHS/Cygnet
Joey Jacobs, Acadia’s CO earns 8,241,847 dollars a year in emoluments.
Amy’s Prosecutor stated the starting point for the Priory’s fine would be £2.4 million.
Priory Healthcare had a turnover of £133 million,
95% is public money from NHS.
It had an operating profit of £62 million in 2017.
Last year 5 of its executives were paid 15 million
But the Judge said he was unable to support this figure of £2.4 million, as he could not find any aggravating factors and took into account the company’s guilty plea, lack of previous convictions, “good” health and safety record and its steps to close and refurbish the unit where Amy lived.
The later has shades of Winterbourne View which was razed to the ground and then sold to Danshell for a knock down price of 30 million.
The Judge stated;
“There was common ground between the experts that the care planning was of good quality, that the suicide of 14-year-olds is extremely rare and prediction is likely to be extremely difficult.”
How could Amy’s care planning be of ‘good quality ‘?
When staff admitted at Amy’s Inquest they were under so much pressure, they had not always been able to give the teenager one-to-one time.
So much so, a Jury ruled staffing levels were inadequate, and a lack of one-to-one time caused, or contributed to Amy’s death in a ‘significant’ way
Even basic training for her Tourettes was not given, a member of senior staff had ‘put on training on Tourette’s, but nobody had attended’.
Amy had been repeatedly restrained by 5 members of staff and sedated.
in under three months in the Priory, Amy had been subjected to at least six incidents of restraint, sometimes involving forced injections.
the day before her death, she had been held down by five staff members and orally sedated
Would all this not make anyone, let alone a very disturbed child, cry out for help as Amy had that night and died as none was there ?
Yet UK taxpayers had paid £13,000 a week to provide it
Where is the blame and investigation of CAMH’s diganoses of Amy’s Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)ADHD Tourette’s, and Gender Identity Dysphoria
Labels that had lead to ,a then 13 year old hormonal Amy’s death in the Priory.
Nor how much Amy’s treatment in her £200,000 tax free a year Banardos school contributed to these labels .
If, as the Judge stated ‘the suicide of 14-year-olds is extremely rare and prediction is likely to be extremely difficult.”
For £13,000 a week one would expect the most vigorous systems, at least enough staff and treatment other than drugs and restraint, based on the actual child’s individual needs, not on objective speculations based on age ?
The Priory Group has been criticised at more than a dozen inquests in just 6 years
Seven years after Amy’s death, 16 year old William hanged himself in a Priory hospital.
So lessons have definitely not been learned
Why should they be when there is no accountability and profits are put before patients;
Like Amy, William had been left unattended in the hours leading up to his death, despite clear instructions that he required checking four times an hour, staff then falsified logs to make it appear as if they had checked on him.
Days before William had told his psychiatrist that he was worried about the lack of staff observation.
And safety concerns had been raised about this hospital in 2016 when government inspectors found a high risk of ligature points in all wards.
How many more Amys,Williams,Georges, Jodies and Jonathans must be ‘helped’ by suffering untold agony and death for profit from public funds?
Their sad young deaths are just the tip of the iceberg, most die a statistic and even these are unknown unless the hospitals inform the CQC, or an Inquest is held and these are decreasing under the new death certification procedures.
Why is a cashstrapped NHS funding 62 million a year profit from unsafe hospitals and wholly inadequate treatment?
This is the revolution in mental health promised by May and Cameron.
And ever more are being harvested.