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

The hospital’s Landermere Centre was told to improve standards following a spot inspection by Care Quality Commission watchdogs.

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 in Harlow met all of the essential standards.

But Clacton’s Landermere Centre failed to hit 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 that this has a minor impact on people who use the service, and have told the provider to take action.”

Inspectors spoke to four people on Tower ward who had been detained under the Mental Health Act.

The trust has been told to set out how it is taking action to meet standards. Enforcement powers could be used if nothing is done.

Trust chief exec Andrew Geldard 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 so we will address this.

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