Health watchdog’s report put Harvey Centre in Weeley into special measures for second time prompting closure

The Harvey Centre in The Street, Weeley. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The Harvey Centre in The Street, Weeley. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

A damning report into the failings of a mental health facility in Essex plunged it into special measures for the second time – prompting bosses to close the service.

Health inspectors visited the Harvey Centre in Weeley last November – but their findings have only recently been published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

According to the latest report the watchdog found “widespread and significant shortfalls” in the way the service, for people with dementia and other mental health conditions, was managed.

The service was subsequently rated inadequate in all areas, for safety, effectiveness, leadership, care and responsiveness – and placed in special measures once again.

Bosses at the home confirmed last night that they shut the service completely in December, with all residents moved into new homes.

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Mark Venkatasami is the director of Astracare UK Ltd, the healthcare provider responsible for running the centre.

Speaking for the first time since the home’s closure, he said: “I feel like there was unrealistic expectations from us, we did try very hard and in the end we took the decision to close.

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“We had people visiting telling us to do this and to do that and we felt as though we were in the middle of all these agencies and struggling with that really.

Unfortunately we did not have the funding we needed either and as you know the NHS is struggling nationally so without that we were unable to run the service properly.”

In the report inspectors noted that the provider told them they would not be challenging the watchdog’s decision to place them in special measures.

People living at the home were moved to new accommodation throughout December with the support of Astracare, Essex County Council and the North East Essex CCG.

Council chiefs said: “We worked closely with the owners of the Harvey Centre, the CQC and local CCG, as well as the residents and their families to secure new and appropriate accommodation. This is now complete.”

According to the latest report, published last week, a police investigation is ongoing in connection with an incident that took place at the home.

Essex Police confirmed this was the case last night, but said no-one had been arrested.

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