Priory Group
Last Updated: June, 2019

Priory Group is one of the biggest 'players' in the mental health market. The Priory Group was originally called Priory Healthcare and was founded by an American company based in California. It has been sold many times making vast sums of money for its owners and directors. It 2000 was purchased by Chai Patel (a supporter of the  Private Finance Initiative  and cheerleader for the private provision of NHS services) and merged with  Westminster Health Care . After being purchased by Advent International, it was purchased by its current owners - Acadia Group of Tennessee - for £1.3-billion in 2016.

In January 2019 Priory Group pleaded guilty to causing the death of a 14 year old girl in 2012 due to inadequate health and safety standards. A 2016 inquest found that Priory Group had failed in all aspects of her care. Her mother said:

Amy's mental health care should never have been in the hands of a company whose priority was placing profit over her safety. For 14 years we kept her safe but within three months with the Priory she was dead.

The Priory Group were fined £300-thousand, despite making a profit of £62-million in 2017.

In January 2019 Priory Group also admitted failings after a boy in their care died in 2018 due to Priory's continuing poor health and safety standards. Priory's private hospital at which the boy died had procedural safety failings that Priory had been made aware of but had not acted upon. Private companies make their profits by charging more for their services or cutting corners. On the evening of the boys death, one nurse was expected to assess the well-being of 45 patients in 1-hour. The boy had complained to his psychiatrist that the staff were not carrying out their observations properly. At the inquest it was determined that Priory had falsified the records to say that they had checked on the boy when in fact they had not. Three months after the boys death, there was a  Care Quality Commission  inspection at the hospital, which determined again that safety at the hospital was inadequate, Priory had still not made the required changes. The boys father said:

It strikes me that they are a organisation that is more concerned with generating revenue and making money, than they are in looking after the children that are trusted to their care.

The boy's father suggested that the Priory's contracts with the NHS should be reviewed. The possibility for real Care is systemically undermined when a profit motive is introduced. See  Efficiency Savings 

Also see  Care in the Community