Tees

West Lane Hospital staff face disciplinary hearings

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Media captionFaith Wilthew, 18, said she self-harmed and attempted suicide

More than a dozen staff at a mental health hospital for young people are facing disciplinary proceedings over the alleged ill-treatment of patients.

Workers at West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough face claims they used techniques for moving people which were "not in line with trust policy".

One former patient described feeling like "caged animal".

Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust said it expects patients to be treated with "respect".

Concerns were first raised about the hospital in November and an investigation overseen by the Care Quality Commission was launched.

Earlier this year it emerged 20 staff had been suspended over claims they used "non-approved" techniques.

Disciplinary hearings for 13 of those workers are due to begin in the next few weeks.

The other seven staff members will be retrained and then return to work.

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Image caption Faith Wilthew said staff did not intervene as she banged her head against a wall for 72 hours

In January, Faith Wilthew told the BBC she self-harmed and attempted suicide during her four years at the hospital.

She said: "Most of the time I felt like I was in prison. I went in there at 14 with not a scar on my body and I came out at 18 full of scars.

"I was just told it was my own choice if I wanted to self-harm.

"Sometimes they would lift me off my bed by my hands and feet and just drop me on to the floor and restrain me."

Elizabeth Moody, the trust's director of nursing, said: "The care and safety of all our service users is our first priority and we expect our staff to show respect for their dignity and well-being."

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