“HORROR stories” coming out of Wotton Lawn come as no surprise according to civic chiefs who have long heard of staff struggling at the mental health hospital in Gloucester.

Councillors responsible for scrutinising health services in the county have requested an official briefing and want to quiz hospital bosses about the failures recently reported there.

Health overview and scrutiny committee members were shocked to hear of a Sky News report which showed staff photographed asleep at work and patients on the roof.

Also an FoI request made by the BBC revealed that Gloucestershire police received 97 reports of patients missing from Wotton Lawn between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2022.

Over the same period, the force received 4,611 phone calls relating to the unit.

HOSC chairman Andrew Gravells, speaking during the meeting, asked if any of the health chiefs present had any knowledge of what’s going on.

Des Gorman, strategy and partnerships deputy director at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said there was a report on Sky News and the trust had made a statement.

“That’s on the report and that’s the current position of the trust. We can forward the statement to you,” he said.

Cllr Gravells also asked if anyone from the NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board had been “tipped off or alerted”.

ICB deputy CEO Ellen Rule said they were aware of the statement that was made by Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Councillor Collette Finnegan said she was “not at all surprised” by the situation.

She said: “I know one nurse has recently left Wotton Lawn after working there for over 20 years. And the stories that she told me were quite awful.

“She's been injured by patients, some real horror stories."

A trust spokesperson said they actively seek and encourage feedback adding: “Staff have a wide range of ways to raise concerns, including a direct, anonymous link to our chief executive, as well as our very active Freedom to Speak Up guardian. This is alongside regular staff meetings, support from their immediate managers and access to support from our staff wellbeing services.

“Every piece of feedback we receive is recorded, discussed with colleagues and acted upon where needed. We also receive a lot of compliments about the care we provide."