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Statement in response to Independent on Sunday article

15 Feb 2015

West London Mental Health Trust categorically refutes claims in the Independent on Sunday (15/02/2015) that Broadmoor Hospital’s security system is not fit for purpose, breaks down or is inoperable.

It rejects the assertion that it is in breach of its licence, or that it has asked the Department of Health for a derogation of the terms of its licence because of problems with the CCTV system.

The trust has never had cause to ask the Department of Health to relax the criteria for its high secure licence. This is palpably absurd and would never be considered or allowed.

The hospital maintains the highest standards of security at all times. It has never breached its licence at any time The hospital has well developed and rehearsed contingency plans to ensure it maintains security should any challenges arise such as a lightning strike, flooding, power or system failure.

The current Broadmoor Hospital CCTV system dates from 2001, and was installed in line with recommendations from the Tilt Report. The system requires upgrading, however the cost of maintaining the current ageing system was judged to be more expensive than replacing it with a new one. The trust is spending £3million to replace the CCTV system and maintain it.

The hospital is tendering for the new system and maintenance of it and is following European Union regulations relating to public sector procurement. The tendering process is on-going.

There was an issue with the original tender process for the maintenance contract, the trust took advice and extended the process. In the interest of public safety and the security of our staff and patients we have full maintenance in place through Quadrant Security Group, a recognised expert in the provision of CCTV systems for high secure hospitals.

The trust is not £3.9 million overspent on its capital estates and facilities budget. An early forecast at month two in the financial year suggested that the budget would be overspent unless action was taken. This was quickly investigated and corrected.

The publicly available Board report on the trust’s finances forecast that we will break even at the end of the financial year and at present this budget is in fact 2 per cent underspent.

An independent investigation into the business processes of the capital estates and facilities team is underway and we await its findings. This is not an anti-fraud investigation.

Views attributed to Ms Leeanne McGee, executive director of Broadmoor Hospital and trust forensic services, are false and the trust has asked the newspaper to withdraw them.

This news report is highly inaccurate and irresponsible and will only serve to upset vulnerable patients, demoralise and distract hard-working NHS nurses, doctors and staff who come to work every day to do a good job in challenging circumstances and cause pointless  anxiety amongst our local community and the public and we have called for corrections, retractions in part and an apology.

A £242 million project to redevelop Broadmoor Hospital is currently underway so that by 2017 patients will be treated in a state of the art hospital that will offer every advantage of a modern therapeutic environment in contrast to the current outdated Victorian site. This is good news for our patients, staff and the public.

Contact details: Communications Team – 020 8354 8737 or communications@wlmht.nhs.uk

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