The Priory hospital ordered to improved after inadequate rating

The Priory Health Clinic in Roehampton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The health clinic was rated good for being effective and caring but required improvement overall

One of the country's best known private health clinics has been rated "inadequate" for safety by inspectors.

The Priory hospital, in Roehampton, south-west London, treats conditions including depression and addictions.

The inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the hospital was not offering safe staffing levels and required improvement.

But Priory Healthcare said it was "disappointed" and that rotas showed appropriate staff-patient ratios.

It added it had reduced the vacancy rate for nurses by more than 50%.

The inspection was carried out during a £1.2m improvement programme on the Grade-II listed building, which offers facilities that include a restaurant, gym with a personal trainer and private en-suite rooms, and which is noted for some of the high-profile patients it has treated.

The report said there were high vacancy rates for nurses, particularly on the eating disorder service. There was also a high use of agency staff.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Celebrities treated there over the years include Kate Moss, Lily Allen, Eric Clapton, Pete Doherty and Ronnie Wood

The report said: "Records indicated that there were more incidents on shifts with insufficient staff on Priory Court, the eating disorders unit for children and adolescents."

There had been 95 incidents on Priory Court in the six months before the inspection.

'Very concerned'

The regulator re-inspected the premises in October after it highlighted concerns during a visit last March.

It said in addition to concerns about staffing levels, inspectors found the hospital environment, particularly on the acute wards, remained unsafe for patients at risk of suicide or self-harm.

Inspectors rated the trust as good for being effective and caring but "required improvement" for being responsive and well-led.

Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC's deputy chief inspector for mental health, said: "When we inspected the Priory Hospital in October 2016, we were very concerned about the safety of patients at risk of suicide or self-harm.

"The hospital must ensure it can meet the needs of patients they choose to admit whilst improvements to staffing and the environment take place.

"We did, however, find some improvements and noted that the provider had implemented a pre-admission risk assessment. This included a handover system for ensuring staff noted risks."

Dr Sylvia Tang, chief executive of Priory Healthcare, said it was "fully committed" to making improvements.

"Our £1.2m improvement programme at Roehampton is being led by a new management team and includes trialling a state-of-the-art patient monitoring system.

"It is disappointing that we have been re-inspected part-way through this programme when there were works in progress which have now been completed."

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