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Essex: Conduct hearing for former addiction clinic boss

PUBLISHED: 15:58 26 February 2013 | UPDATED: 15:58 26 February 2013

Osea Island in Essex

Osea Island in Essex

THE former chief executive of an Essex addiction treatment centre is set to appear before a disciplinary committee next month to answer serious allegations of misconduct.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee will resume its hearing into the conduct of Brendan Quinn on March 13.

Mr Quinn, a former nurse, was chief executive of the Causeway Retreat, an addiction clinic based in a remote manor house on Osea Island in the Blackwater estuary, near Maldon.

The treatment centre counted Amy Winehouse, Take That’s Mark Owen and actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers among its clients but closed in 2010 after it was refused registration by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Mr Quinn, who was responsible for patient care and the overall running of the company, faces a string of charges relating to the management of the centre and the hearing began in November but was adjourned.

It is alleged that between May 2007 and January 2010 Mr Quinn failed to register the clinic with the relevant authorities and permitted mentally ill clients at the Causeway despite being warned not to by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), which became the CQC in April 2009.

It is alleged that between around 2008 and 2010, Mr Quinn allowed mentally ill clients to be admitted to the Causeway without ensuring that an adequate psychiatric assessment had been undertaken, that a doctor was always at the site, that they were adequately supervised and that they had adequate after care.

Between 2008 and 2010 it is alleged that Mr Quinn failed to establish or maintain appropriate arrangements for the management of medication at the centre - including an allegation that drugs were stored in a suitcase in an unlocked room.

It is alleged that poor checking by staff enabled some clients to “stockpile” medication and that the medicine management policy was inadequate.

Mr Quinn also faces allegations that between 2008 and 2010 he failed to ensure the adequate arrangements were in place for the health and safety of staff, clients and their relatives and failed to respond adequately to complaints from clients.

Mr Quinn also allegedly made false statements to clients and their relatives, including that he was a doctor - which he was not - both in advertising material and, in one case, directly to a client’s relative. He also allegedly claimed that the Causeway did not need to be registered with the CSCI or CQC.

At other times he allegedly suggested that the causeway was registered with the authorities - which was not the case - and that it had permission to operate as a hospital, also not the case.

It is alleged by the NMC that the false statements were made dishonestly and that as a result of his misconduct, his fitness to practice is impaired.

At a hearing last year Mr Quinn disputed the allegations and is currently subject to an interim conditions of practice order.

The full NMC hearing will resume on March 13 and is expected to run over seven days.

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