Care Quality Commission says patients' safety jeopardised by hospital's heritage status, which bans removal of ligature points

The heritage status of Broadmoor hospital has been blamed for putting patients at risk, according to a report published today.

One of the issues highlighted in the study carried out by the Care Quality Commission into the West London Mental Health Trust, which runs the high security mental institute, was the risk posed by ligature points.

Studies have shown that the removal of ligature points, such as hooks, curtain rails and window bars, significantly reduces suicide rates. However, it is alleged the grade II listed status of some of the buildings at Broadmoor prevented this work from being done.

According to the report, many of the trust's buildings are old and deemed “not fit for purpose”. It said parts of the environment at Broadmoor hospital are neither safe nor conducive to high quality care.

“The redevelopment of Broadmoor hospital is complex and has difficult planning issues related to the listed buildings on site. However, it is hard to see that the timescale proposed for the completion of the redevelopment is satisfactory for service users,” the report said.

As well as the buildings at Broadmoor, the report also raised concerns about ligature points at St Bernard's hospital in Ealing, where many of the buildings date back to 1830.