Statement by Solicitor...

Statement by Solicitor Alistair Smith regarding  the breaking news of West Lane Hospital, Middlesbrough

Posted : 4th February 2021

The release of this statement comes in response to the breaking news about the Tees Esk Wear Valley Trust (TEWV).

Concerns surrounding the death of a loved one is always distressing for those who have lost someone close, but for one family in particularly this comes at a poignant time, when they should have been celebrating their daughter Emily’s 19th birthday on 4thFebruary. Sadly, Emily took her own life, whilst under the care of TEWV trust, following time spent at West Lane Hospital, in Middlesbrough.

There has already been an acknowledgement of the failings in the level of care at the facility, which led to the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) deciding that standards fell far short of those expected, resulting in the closure of West Lane Hospital.

We continue to support a growing number of families and individuals who have sadly lost loved ones or have been highly impacted, or damaged, by their experiences within West Lane Hospital. Many who feel they left in a far worse condition, mentally and physically, than when they went in. Techniques, restraints and practices were brutal, and against the guidance of the Trust, which has led to long term issues such as self-harm, and sadly, ultimately suicide for some.

There is an ongoing independent investigation by Niche Consulting, commissioned by NHS England, into the failings at West Lane hospital. Sadly, we fear failings at this facility are not in isolation and we therefore join the call for a Public Enquiry, with support from the local MP, into the TEWV Trust, following an acknowledgement of at least 15 deaths in the last 3 years. We remain committed to supporting individuals and families who may have been affected by failings at facilities managed by the TEWV Trust and beyond.

 It is with the greatest of sympathy and respect, and for the need for justice for all of the families, that we are speaking out today.

Alistair Smith

Historic Abuse Solicitor. Watson Woodhouse Solicitors, Middlesbrough.

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