PATIENTS have been moved out of a mental health hospital in Winchfield that was criticised for its “disturbing” levels of violence.

NHS England is moving patients with mental health needs and learning disabilities out of Vista Independent Hospital, in Old Potbridge Road, after it missed a deadline to make improvements.

It follows a critical report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which found 334 incidents of physical abuse or violence in seven months, including 272 incidents where staff were reported to have been assaulted, sometimes needing hospital treatment.

The watchdog reported 12 breaches of national regulations, including staff not knowing the locations of ligature cutters on their wards, understaffed wards, and inadequate training, support and supervision for staff.

It had carried out an inspection in November and published its report by the end of last month, urging urgent improvements by Fairhome Care Group (WL) Limited, which runs the hospital.

A team of inspectors returned to the hospital this month.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “Vista Healthcare has failed to maintain safe standards of care and treatment for the vulnerable patients in its care.

“The first priority for all NHS commissioners is to make sure that all patients currently at Vista Healthcare are safe and well cared for.

“Commissioners, working with the CQC, have acted promptly and already begun the process of transferring these patients, some with complex needs, to centres that can provide care to the appropriate standards.”

The hospital can take up to 69 patients. It is not clear how many have been moved by NHS England.

In a statement after the November inspection was published, Fairhome Care Group (WL) Limited said the report was an “uncompromising catalogue” of problems faced by a newly-appointed clinical and management team at the hospital.

It added: “The formal warnings reinforce the importance and urgency that the new Vista management, and the specialist team they brought in, have been and are bringing to making and sustaining the improvements for patients.”