Statement regarding 'Under Lock and Key'

Thursday 2 Mar 2017

We were saddened by the recent Dispatches broadcast, ‘Under Lock and Key’, on Channel 4.


We take the accusations extremely seriously but believe the programme portrays a very distorted view of the work we do here. We strongly refute the allegations as either inaccurate, misleading or taken out of context.


Although we were given the right to respond to the programme, we have a duty of care to respect our patients and their right to confidentiality. We don’t believe it is ever appropriate or in their best interests to make any comment about current or former patients or their treatment.


Every member of staff at St Andrew’s takes great pride in the care they give to our patients, and the programme has been distressing for them, our patients, their families and carers. As an open and transparent organisation we are always looking to improve how we look after our patients and this is supported by a robust complaints process for anyone who has concerns about the care we provide.


We look after people with highly complex and challenging mental health needs, helping them to live safely and progress to a more homely environment. It is often the case that patients admitted to St Andrew’s have exhausted local, community based resources or that local placements are not equipped to manage their complex needs.  We have an excellent reputation for driving recovery and therapy innovations as a result of which around three quarters of our patients were discharged to more local or less secure environments last year.


We support the Government’s ‘Transforming Care’ programme which aims to move away from an over-reliance on in-patient care. However, as recognised by the Government, there will always be times when intensive, in-patient care is the best possible treatment for those with severe and acute mental health conditions.


We are highly regulated and welcome inspections. Last year, we hosted visits equivalent to more than one inspection a week by different regulators and oversight bodies. They are satisfied with the care we provide and the Care Quality Commission observed that our staff 'treat patients with dignity and respect and are responsive to patients’ individual needs', rating both our Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) and Learning Disability / Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) services as ‘Good’.


We would like to reassure all concerned that the programme was in no way representative of the level of care and commitment that St Andrew’s provides to its patients.