‘It’s no surprise’: Pressure on as closed hospital boss faces questions over practice that is ‘putting people at risk’

The International Eating Disorders Centre in Wendover Road, Aylesbury
The International Eating Disorders Centre in Wendover Road, Aylesbury

The doctor at the centre of controversy over the closure of the Royal Bucks Hospital is facing fresh questions after another of his practices was lambasted for its quality of care.

Dr James Clarke shut down the hospital in November and some staff have yet to receive two to three months of wages or their redundancy payments.

And now the Care Quality Commission has issued three formal warnings to the International Eating Disorder Centre in Wendover Road to improve after an unannounced inspection in October.

The report said it is putting ‘people at risk of receiving inappropriate or unsafe care’, that staff are not ‘always appropriately trained’ and that ‘people are not fully protected against the unsafe use and management of medicines’.

Unison Bucks Health branch secretary Steve Bell, said: “It would not surprise us if there’s difficulties in his other clinics, hospitals and units that he owns.

“What this demonstrates is the failure of private protection in a way to regulate and be regulated and as much the quality of care that’s provided.

“I know the NHS is not 100% but you have to have the proper training before you can be employed.

“You see this happening across the board with a number of private companies. It doesn’t provide the training and care for the clients they serve.”

The report states the commission has taken enforcement action against the doctor, meaning it can take action under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 to improve services.

Deputy director of the commission in the south, Ian Biggs, said: “Our inspectors will return in the near future to carry out another unannounced inspection.

“If we find that the home is not making the required progress we won’t hesitate to use our legal powers further to protect the people who live there.”

Mr Bell added that he believes the union represents a couple of nurses at the centre and that on January 15 it would visit Labour Lord Hunt in London to raise awareness of the trouble Royal Bucks’ nurses have experienced.

Dr Clarke declined to comment.