Care home provider Castlebeck is to close its Arden Vale hospital in Meriden, Solihull, next week ahead of the conclusion of legal action by regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Castlebeck’s decision comes after the CQC served a legal notice proposing to remove Arden Vale from the company's registration, which would mean they could no longer provide care at this site. Arden Vale, which provides care for adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems, will close by next Thursday (25 August). This gives the company and commissioners time to find suitable care alternatives for the residents.

Andrea Gordon, CQC's regional director for the West and East Midlands, said: "CQC raised serious concerns about the care provided at Arden Vale, and demanded improvements. When we did not see evidence of these improvements, we took action to protect people by initiating the legal process required to close a service. “Castlebeck has responded to our action by agreeing to close the service on a voluntary basis. Throughout, CQC has been working closely with the local safeguarding authority and the organisations paying for the care of people at Arden Vale to ensure that people living at the service are safe. "When CQC published reports into all 23 Castlebeck locations at the end of last month, we identified four services where we had significant concerns. Arden Vale will be the second of these locations to close; Rose Villa in Bristol closed last week. A third service, Winterbourne View, was closed following CQC action in June. We continue to monitor all Castlebeck services very closely."

The CQC made unannounced inspections of Arden Vale on June 3, 13 and 14. Inspectors had major concerns with 12 of the 16 essential standards care providers are expected to meet, including safeguarding, the care and welfare of people who use services, requirements relating to staff, and the management of medicines. Specific concerns included inappropriate use of restraint, and the ways in which staff were recruited to meet the specialist needs of people living there.