NHS Wales stops mental health referrals to Northampton's St Andrew's Healthcare over concerns

Organisation 'confident' of resolving issues relating to four out of 68 wards

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 3:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 3:28 pm

Welsh mental health placements for some services provided by Northampton-based St Andrew's Healthcare have been suspended after an inspection.

The UK's biggest mental healthcare provider, whose headquarters is at St Andrew's Hospital on Billing Road, has been placed under 'enhanced monitoring' from NHS Wales.

A St Andrew's spokesman said the new leadership team is confident of resolving the concerns around four of its 68 inpatient wards quickly.

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St Andrew's Healthcare's headquarters is at St Andrew's Hospital, Billing Road, Northampton

"We acknowledge that NHS Wales has temporarily suspended new admissions to a small number of our wards, following recent routine audits," she said.

"We have been in discussions with them this week and we’re confident that we will be able to resolve their concerns quickly.

“We have a new leadership team in place who are committed to making improvements and creating a culture of complete openness, honesty and transparency to make sure that we are always doing the right thing by our patients and staff.

"But such plans are in their infancy and cultural change can take time, especially in a complex mental healthcare setting.”

Mental health patients from England and Wales are referred to St Andrew's' specialist hospitals in Northampton, Essex, Nottingham and Birmingham - with around five per cent from Wales.

But NHS Wales has put a temporary halt on new referrals after a 'full audit' of the charity's services by the NHS Wales collaborative commission unit between January 20 and 22.

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "The unit is now engaged with the St Andrew's executive board to gain immediate assurances from the provider."

NHS England has been contacted for comment.

Separately to NHS Wales' audit, the Care Quality Commission in England found 'repeated and systemic failings' in the leadership at St Andrew's earlier this month.