THE safety level of care provided by a mental health trust has been suspended after the death of a young girl in one of its hospitals last week.

The Northern Echo understands that a 17-year-old girl, an inpatient at the West Lane Hospital for children and youngsters in Middlesbrough, died in a communal bathroom.

Now the Care Quality Commission has suspended the safety rating for the entire health trust.

The hospital has also been closed to new admissions in the wake of the tragedy, and following an unannounced CQC inspection last week at the hospital, which underwent a £13.8m revamp last year.

The CQC said it had taken action “to protect the safety and welfare of residents” at West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough.

A full report will be published by the CQC in due course.

David Moore from Shildon, the parent of another severely ill young inpatient, has been protesting outside the hospital following the latest revelations, with a large banner spread over his car saying: “This hospital is slowly killing my daughter.”

He believes his 17-year-old daughter is at serious risk due to the processes within the hospital which he says include continually allowing her access to items which she could use for self-harm or even suicide.

He said she had self-harmed more than 100 times, 22 of which took place while she was on one-to-one, 24-hour observations.

“Despite scores of meetings my daughter’s care and that of other children is getting worse,” he said.

He said staff allowed her access to objects she could use for self-harm or suicide, because they believed she would learn from her mistakes.

And he said her illness had got significantly worse since being admitted as an inpatient 16 weeks ago.

He tried to move hospitals but was unable to, and he said she is too ill to keep at home and needed one to one supervision and care in hospital.

Mr Moore is demonstrating outside the hospital this week and said: “This has to be sorted for the good of the patients within the walls of this ever-failing hospital.”

In March, 13 suspended members of staff were told they were facing disciplinary action over the alleged poor treatment of patients, which was understood to relate to restraint procedures. Another seven suspended staff were to be retrained before returning to work.

Colin Martin, chief executive at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our priority is the safety and welfare of our patients and we are taking immediate and urgent actions to address the concerns raised by the CQC.

"We are developing a detailed response and working closely with the CQC to address the issues identified during the inspection.

"We are also talking to patients, families and carers within the service to make them aware of the situation.”