Skip to main content

The need for action to improve patient safety at Roseberry Park mental health hospital in Middlesbrough following latest CQC inspection

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently inspected Roseberry Park Hospital, a specialist mental health hospital, which is part of Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust. The CQC raised its rating from inadequate to needs improvement.

The Trust has recognised that ‘there is more to be done’. There have previously been calls for a public inquiry into the NHS Trust following the death of three teenagers in an eight-month period at its facilities. An independent investigation into their deaths set up by NHS England is still ongoing.

At Irwin Mitchell we represent a number of families affected by the care issues at Roseberry Park Hospital, as well as other mental health facilities operated by the Trust.

A previous inspection was carried out in 2021 following which the Trust was issued a warning by the CQC and a number of changes were recommended to ensure that care was delivered in a safe way. The latest inspection was carried out to see if these improvements have been implemented.

Improvement needed 

The inspection found that some changes had been made; the culture on the wards had improved and staff now feel more supported with processes in place for escalating staffing concerns.

However, the CQC found that the hospital remains to be under staffed with necessary duties not being carried out as the wards do not have enough nurses. This has led to patients not always getting medication on time or not having access to psychological help.

The inspection also found that staff were not carrying out patient checks in line with best practice nor did the Trust have an adult safeguarding policy in place, instead staff were encouraged to use a one-page guide with hyperlinks that did not work.

The CQC found that there had been a failure to refer an incident of alleged patient-on-patient sexual abuse to safeguarding or to even log the event as an incident. The investigators were informed that this failure would be used as training material, however, no immediate action was taken.

Monitoring to Continue 

The Trust has been working with local universities to support the recruitment of registered nurses and have hired 70 health care assistants since the 2021 inspection. However, this has not been enough to quell concerns as the CQC inspectors found some wards to be dirty with old coffee stains, litter and unkempt floors.

The CQC will continue to monitor the Trust and check on its progress. The head of hospital inspection for the CQC, Karen Knapton, told the BBC that “The Trust has started to make improvements to improve patient care and know what further changes need to be made to keep people safe.”

A Trust representative said it would be working hard to improve the service. It is recognised by the Trust that there was more work to be done and it will have a strong focus on patient safety with the priority being on safe staffing levels and safeguarding patients.


At Irwin Mitchell we continue to represent a number of families affected by the care issues at Roseberry Park Hospital and the wider Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust. Many have concerns about what happened to their loved ones and we're helping them to get the answers they seek as well as access specialist support they require at some of the hardest times of their lives.

In the meantime we can only hope that the Trust take on board the findings of the investigation and make the necessary improvements to ensure patient safety is at the forefront of hospital services. It needs to be recognised that issues with patient safety will only continue to get worse if NHS Trust’s do not get the funds they needed to quickly invest in staff recruitment as well as training.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise in supporting people and their families affected by healthcare issues at our dedicated medical negligence section.

A troubled mental health hospital is not keeping patients safe, lacks staff and is failing to record alleged sexual abuse, a watchdog has found.”