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Patients ‘inappropriately detained’ at crisis-hit Colchester Hospital

Patients 'inappropriately detained' at crisis-hit Colchester Hospital

Colchester Hospital has been hit by claims that elderly and dementia patients have been ‘inappropriately detained and sedated‘ as ward is shut to new admissions.

The Telegraph reports: Elderly patients and dementia sufferers have been ‘restrained unnecessarily’ and given ‘inappropriate sedation’ at a hospital where health watchdog inspectors have declared a major incident, it has emerged.

A ward at Colchester Hospital, in Essex, has now been closed to new admissions after inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found it was struggling with “unprecedented demand”, with patients being urged to got to it’s A&E department only if they have a serious or life-threatening condition.

But it is understood that serious concerns were also raised by CQC staff about the inappropriate restraint, sedation and inappropriate resuscitation of elderly people, some of whom were suffering from dementia.

One “safeguarding concern” raised by the CQC is understood to have involved a patient’s note detailing that an invasive procedure had been carried when that patient could not give their consent.

Inspectors questioned whether some patients in the hospital’s emergency assessment unit had given informed consent for a number of medical procedures. The unit has now been closed following the inspection.