Press release: Dodgy psychiatrist banned after jeopardising patient safety

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Dr Richard Wayne Seamark, a consultant psychiatrist, has been disqualified as a company director for seven years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

His company, Care+ Ltd, went into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 17 March 2016. The estimated deficiency to creditors and shareholders was £350,381. The Insolvency Service investigation was aided by various healthcare regulators including the Care Quality Commission (CQC), NHS England and Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group, with further information provided by London Fire Brigade.

Various concerns were raised about the quality of care being provided by the company, including:

  • Care + did not report all serious incidents, including medicine errors
  • One patient had been locked in their room for several weeks in breach of the patient’s human rights
  • Defibrillator pads, used to restart a person’s heart, had expired seven years prior to the CQC’s last inspection in February 2016 and an oxygen cylinder was not properly secured
  • The environment was neglected and not kept clean or properly maintained
  • Premises operated by Care + did not comply with Fire Regulations

The CQC ultimately cancelled the company’s registration on 11 April 2016 after a three-day inspection of one of its independent mental health hospitals in February 2016 found Care+ ‘inadequate’ in every area inspected.

Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said:

The failure by Dr Seamark to adequately safeguard patients’ well-being and safety presented a significant risk to vulnerable patients, staff and members of the public. His disqualification sends a clear message that such appalling behaviour will not be tolerated in the context of the wider corporate regime.

I would like to thank all those who assisted our investigation and helping to ensure a successful outcome.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from him which began on 11 September 2017. The disqualification means that Dr Seamark cannot control or manage any limited company without leave of the court until 2024.

Notes to editors

Dr Richard Wayne Seamark date of birth is May 1960 and he currently resides in Queensland, Australia.

Care+ Limited (CRO No. 05627818) was incorporated on 16 November 2005 and had a registered office at 55 North Cross Road, East Dulwich, London, SE22 9ET.

Dr Seamark was a director from 18 November 2005, until the company went into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 17 March 2016. The estimated deficiency to creditors and shareholders is £350,381.

The matters of unfitness, which Dr Seamark did not dispute in the Disqualification Undertaking, were that:

  • He failed to ensure Care+ Limited complied with its statutory requirements under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and the Care Quality Commission (Registration) Regulations 2009 in respect of the services and care provided at two Mental Health Independent Hospitals and one Residential Social Care Nursing Home, in that:
  1. Between March 2015 and February 2016 the Care Quality Commission carried out at least four inspections across three of the services operated by Care+. It was found that standards were not being met and regulations were being breached in all locations. The CQC issued Care+ with Enforcement Notices and Warnings following those inspections.

  2. Between 3 and 5 February 2016, CQC carried out an inspection of one of the Mental Health Independent Hospitals operated by Care+ and returned a finding of ‘Inadequate’ due to serious regulatory breaches, including those relating to patient safety and leadership. The CQC found that the service had not had a Registered Manager for 11 months prior to the inspection and that there was a systemic failure to assess, monitor and improve the safety, care and treatment of patients.

  • He failed to ensure the company complied with statutory requirements under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in respect of the facilities provided at one Mental Health Independent Hospital, one Residential Social Care Nursing Home and two Supported Living services.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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