Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement in response to the publication of the report from the European Committee for the Prevention and Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) into England's adult and juvenile prisons and police custody and inpatient adult psychiatry and medium and high secure forensic psychiatry establishments.
As part of their research into the report, the CPT delegation visited Ashworth High Secure Hospital and their findings about it can be found in the report, which can be accessed here: https://www.coe.int/en/web/cpt/-/cpt-publishes-report-on-its-uk-visit-criticism-levelled-at-spiralling-violence-and-lack-of-safety-in-prisons-and-inadequate-safeguards-to-protect-pati?desktop=true
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust's statement reads:
A Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “We welcome the report by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) which focuses on inpatient adult psychiatry and medium and high secure forensic psychiatry establishments in England.
“Mersey Care prides itself on being a learning organisation and welcomes the feedback provided by the CPT following their inspection of the services we provide at Ashworth High Secure Hospital for some of the most challenging patients within a hospital setting.
“We have worked hard to reduce restraint with our award-winning ‘No Force First’ initiative, and the development of the HOPE(S) clinical model of care to reduce the use of long term segregation, for which we are now providing training for Rampton and Broadmoor hospitals.
“There has also been a reduction in the average length of stay at Ashworth High Secure Hospital from 8.7 years to 5.6 years in the last decade, achieved through a strong focus on the very best treatment and recovery to stabilise patients and help them move on in their journey to recovery.
“While Mersey Care notes the concerns regarding interventions by staff dressed in personal protective equipment within the report, all interventions are only ever done as a last resort and we remain committed to the minimum use of restrictive practice.
“We also regard ourselves as a responsible employer and owe a duty of care to all staff, which includes training in how to safely manage complicated restraint situations.”