A health trust has been placed in special measures after inspectors found some mental health patients were at risk of harm. The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has been rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Its report found “unsafe” mental health services, widespread understaffing and a “subtle culture of bullying”. The trust’s chair Eve Richardson said they accepted the report “without reservation”. The CQC said the island’s “inadequate” ambulance service, mental health provision and the trust leadership were most at fault. Community health and acute hospital services were rated as “requiring improvement”. I have seen many reports from the CQC and this is one of the worst – if not the worst. Failures at almost every level in the trust have been laid bare. Perhaps most worrying is the suggestion that patients were put at actual risk of harm. People use the NHS to get better, not to be made worse. Despite the criticisms, staff were said to be “caring” – who many patients told me is true.  Inspectors, who visited the trust in November, found community mental health services had been wrongly restricted to patients with the “most complex and urgent needs”. On hospital wards, mental health patients had “access to electrical cupboards, live broken electrical sockets, continually failing personal alarm systems and ligature points”.  The CQC imposed an urgent improvement notice because of the risk of patient harm

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