A hospital ward at a mental health unit in north Wales has been closed amid concerns about the “quality and safety of patient care”.
A “thorough investigation” into Tawel Fan ward in the Ablett Unit at Glan Clwyd hospital is under way, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said.
Some staff have been removed from clinical duties and some patients are being cared for elsewhere.
North Wales Police said the force was helping with the investigation.
‘Safety and wellbeing’
In a statement on Monday, the board (BCUHB) said concerns were raised about the quality and safety of patient care and it closed the ward “with immediate effect on a temporary basis while a thorough investigation is undertaken”.
Angela Hopkins, director of nursing and midwifery at BCUHB, added: “I would like to reassure patients and their families that we are taking this matter extremely seriously and that our priority is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our vulnerable patients.
“Immediate action has been taken in order to safeguard the patients and staff on Tawel Fan ward.
“Senior colleagues are undertaking a thorough investigation and while this is ongoing we have taken the decision to close the ward.
“A small number of staff have been removed from patient care duties while we investigate.
“Tawel Fan ward will reopen as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.”
BCUHB is working with local authorities and police, it said.
The Welsh government and Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) have been informed.
A statement from North Wales Police said: “In accordance with the practices with our partners we have attended a meeting where concerns have been raised in relation to the quality and safety of patient care on Tawel Fan mental health ward in the Ablett Unit, at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.
“As such, at this stage we will be assisting Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Trust in the investigation which is currently in its infancy.”
Earlier this year, the family of a woman decapitated in a Tenerife supermarket by a mentally ill man called for a review into mental health services.
Deyan Deyanov, who killed Jennifer Mills-Westley, from Norwich, in May 2011, was detained at Glan Clwyd’s Ablett Unit in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, in summer 2010.
Her daughters said Deyanov had been failed and lessons must be learned.
However, the BBC understands that the ward closure and investigation is not connected to Deyanov, whose treatement is the subject of a separate inquiry by HIW.
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