Abuse inquiry at private care clinic

TWO care assistants at a Bury hospital have been quizzed by police over accusations that they mistreated a patient with severe brain damage.

They are alleged to have verbally abused and slapped the man at The Priory Highbank Centre, in Walmersley Road. It is claimed that the incident happened while the man was lying in bed.

The man’s family are believed to have secretly installed surveillance cameras in his room and have handed over the footage to the police.

Both members of staff have been suspended by bosses from working at the centre, which specialises in acquired brain injury and neurological rehabilitation.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “Police are investigating an allegation of mistreatment of a resident at The Priory Highbank Centre.

“Two people have been interviewed under caution and inquiries are ongoing.

“As part of the investigation we are continuing to liaise closely with the care home, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and adult social services.”

It is understood that the patient was injured in a car accident as a teenager.

Professor Chris Thompson, chief medical officer at The Priory Group, said: “The hospital is upset at these allegations. The early stages of the investigation suggest that while the incidents concerned need to be taken very seriously, the issues involved are not systemic.

“The police are leading the investigation and the hospital is committed to working in collaboration with all the appropriate agencies to ensure they are fully investigated and the welfare of its patients is served. Two members of staff were immediately suspended.

He added: “The police, the commissioners, the CQC, and the safeguarding team, have told us they are satisfied that the patients at Highbank are protected and cared for.

“CQC inspectors, rightly, visited the hospital this week, have given positive verbal feedback to our senior manager and the official report will be published on its website shortly.”

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