The foundation trust regulator Monitor has launched an investigation into Calderstones Partnership Foundation Trust, after allegations that a patient was abused there.
The regulator said it stepped in after a safeguarding case conference identified “shortcomings” in the way the specialist learning disability trust safeguarded its service users. Police investigated specific allegations of abuse earlier this year but decided to take no further action, it said in a statement.
Monitor said it would look into whether the episode may be evidence of wider problems with the way the Lancashire-based trust is run, and whether it could have prevented or reduced the risk of abuse. The regulator has also asked the Care Quality Commission to undertake an urgent review of standards of care at the trust.
Monitor regional director Robert Davidson said: “We want to make sure that patients are receiving the best possible standards of care, and we will look closely at how the trust is run to determine whether it has breached the conditions of its licence to provide NHS healthcare services.”
In response, Calderstones chief executive David Young said the trust had been working on the incident “for several months” with Monitor, the CQC and its commissioners.
“Three of the four issues raised by the Safeguarding case conference some weeks ago were either unsubstantiated or inconclusive,” he said.
“We take very seriously indeed this outstanding and isolated issue of abuse against a single service user. This has been a difficult time for everyone involved and our thoughts and concerns are with the service user and their family,” he said.
“Calderstones works with many extremely challenging individuals. Our staff have to act and think quickly to support them through each day,” Mr Young added.
“We acted very quickly to remove everyone who may have been involved in the incident and have worked very closely with the authorities through the investigation.”
It is understands the service user who reportedly suffered abuse was male, and Calderstones moved around 12 members of staff who had been working with him after it was alerted to the incident by a whistleblower.
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Monitor press release
29 August 2013