Darlington Newbus Grange care home put into special measures

Newbus Grange Hospital Image copyright Cygnet
Image caption Inspectors said patients at the hospital were not treated with respect

A care home, where a "sadistic" worker was seen to punch and kick residents, has been put into special measures.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors said patients at Newbus Grange in Darlington were not safe or treated with compassion.

Sean McNulty was jailed for more than two years earlier this month after admitting ill-treating two residents.

The company said it was "disappointed" by the findings and was putting in place a comprehensive action plan.

The home is run by Cygnet Healthcare, as was Whorlton Hall, where BBC footage appeared to show patients being abused.

McNulty, 36, was caught on CCTV attacking residents at the unit, which provides care for men with autism.

It was rated as Outstanding by the CQC in December. But inspectors returned after the BBC Panorama programme about Whorlton Hall.

They found patients with unexplained injuries, the use of inappropriate restraining techniques and staff asleep on duty.

Prof Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: "On this inspection we found that people were not receiving safe care, their dignity was not respected and they were not treated with compassion.

"The environment was poorly maintained, risks to people's safety were not addressed and we observed a disinterested attitude from some staff to the people they were meant to be caring for.

"We are now working to access alternative care arrangements whilst Cygnet work on adapting the service.

"We are monitoring this service very closely now and will continue to do so in the future to ensure people are protected."

'Remain committed'

A spokesperson for Cygnet said: "Following the CQC inspection in May this year we responded rapidly to strengthen managerial oversight and implement a comprehensive action plan to address the issues raised.

"Whilst we are disappointed in the findings of this inspection, particularly because the CQC had rated the service Outstanding only five months previously, we remain committed to implementing the very best standards and quality of care.

"Where we believe we need to enhance our services to better meet evolving patient needs, we will always act quickly to make the necessary improvements and investment required."

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