Trust apologises for abuse of elderly

A health trust has offered its "unreserved apology" after an investigation found elderly patients had been subject to a culture of violence in its care.

An inquiry was launched amid claims of abuse on the Rowan ward, in Withington Hospital, Greater Manchester.

Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust said families had reported that their elderly relatives had been victims of mental and physical abuse. Norma Chatt, daughter of patient Lucy Caline, told the BBC her mother received numerous black eyes while on the ward. She said: "I will never ever believe that these incidents involving my mum were accidental. I believe she was being abused."

Bosses at the trust gave an unreserved public apology, adding that personal letters would be sent to each affected individual.

Acting chief executive Laura Roberts said: "We are truly sorry for the events that occurred on Rowan Ward and the way the Trust managed the concerns of the relatives in the aftermath."

The report did not single out who was to blame, describing the injuries to patients as "unattributable".

Mrs Roberts added: "The Trust has a lot to learn from these events and we are determined that this learning takes place.

"We will not forget these issues and we will ensure that the findings are integrated into our services for the benefit of current and future patients."

The internal report follows a separate investigation by the Commission for Health Improvement last year.

That inquiry found a "poor institutionalised environment" and "poor supervision, a lack of knowledge of incident reporting and a closed inward looking culture". Acting chief executive of the CHI at the time, Jocelyn Cornwell, said the care received by patients was unacceptable.

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