Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Vista Independent Hospital violence 'disturbing'

The number of violent attacks at a mental health hospital in Hampshire has been described as "disturbing".

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors said Vista Independent Hospital at Winchfield recorded 334 incidents of physical abuse or violence involving patients in seven months.

The issue was uncovered during an unannounced inspection in November.

The hospital said "considerable strides" had been made to meet targets set by the CQC.

There were 272 incidents of physical assaults on staff reported, with some needing hospital treatment.

The CQC said police had been involved in 22 incidents. The regulator formally warned the hospital to make urgent improvements.

'Testing time'

CQC inspectors - whose unannounced visit was made after concerns were raised - found multiple breaches of care, safety and health regulations.

Karen Wilson, CQC head of inspection, said: "The number of violent incidents is disturbing - yet we found little evidence that the provider had the specialist skills or systems to learn from these incidents and prevent them happening in the first place."

The inspection also raised concerns over staff numbers, training and leadership at the hospital, which is managed by Fairhome Care Group.

The CQC said a specialist team had been brought in to take action and oversee changes.

The hospital, which is registered for up to 69 patients with mental health needs or learning disabilities, said it had stopped admitting any new patients.

In a statement, it said: "Considerable strides have been made to meet the targets set by CQC at a difficult and testing time."

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