A HEALTH watchdog has demanded action is taken after mental health patients were treated without consent at Clacton Hospital.

The hospital’s Landermere Centre has been told to improve standards after an unannounced inspection by the Care QualityCommission.

Inspections took place last month at three sites run by North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and community services.

The Crystal Centre, in Chelmsford, and the Brian Roycroft Ward, inHarlow, met all of the essential standards.

However, Clacton’s Landermere Centrewas told it failed to meet standards because some patients were not asked if they agreed to examinations, treatment or support.

The report said: “Before people received any care or treatment they were not always asked for their consent.

“Where people did not have the capacity to consent, the provider had not in all cases acted in accordance with legal requirements.

“We have judged this has a minor impact on people who use the service, and have told the provider to take action.”

But the report added: “None of the people we spoke with expressed any concerns about their safety. We saw staff deal with challenging situations calmlyand effectively.

“This showedus the provider ensured people who used the service were protected from the risk of abuse.”

Inspectors found no other issues with the centre.

The trust has been told to set out how it will take action to meet the standards. If nothing is done, enforcement powers could be used.

Andrew Geldard, chief executive of the trust, said: “In Clacton, we didn’t meet one minor requirement for patients who lack capacity to consent to treatment.

“It’s minor, but it’s important, sowewill address this.

“However, it shows unannounced inspections are very thorough and that’s good news for the public too.”