Chairman of Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust steps down after undercover filming by BBC's Panorama
The chairman of the trust providing mental health services in Wigan has stepped down after “examples of unacceptable care” at one of its units.
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust hit the headlines in September following undercover filming by the BBC’s Panorama programme at the Edenfield Centre, in Prestwich, Bury.
Police are investigating allegations staff mistreated patients and reviewing footage in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, with a view to prosecuting anyone who was captured committing a crime.
As well as running the Edenfield Centre, the trust provides mental health care across Wigan and other parts of Greater Manchester.
Services under its umbrella include Atherleigh Park in Leigh, a range of mental health care, children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), autistic spectrum disorder diagnostic services and support for young people with eating disorders.
Rupert Nichols, the trust’s chairman, has now announced his resignation, saying his term in office was due to end in July 2023, but he felt it was vital to leave earlier.
In a letter to governors, board members and staff, he wrote: “Our trust is facing significant challenges following the inexcusable behaviour and examples
of unacceptable care that have been exposed at the Edenfield Centre. Both I and the board have apologised to those affected directly and indirectly.
“It is clear that it will take some time for the trust to navigate the challenges of successfully implementing our improvement plan and rebuilding faith and confidence in our services.
"My term of office as chair ends next July, but I believe that the trust would benefit from a new chair, bringing new ideas and energy to lead the board through this recovery period and beyond.
“I have therefore decided to retire from the board at the end of December 2022, to allow the trust to make a new appointment at the earliest opportunity.
“It has been an immense privilege to chair your board and the council of governors.
“I am absolutely certain that Greater Manchester Mental Health trust will come through this difficult period, learning from the experience and making the appropriate changes to, once again, be recognised as a provider of high quality, compassionate care.”