Secret Video Shows Abuse at Winterbourne View (Pontefract)

A secret filming at Winterbourne View, shows that patients were abused both physically and verbally.  The BBC Panorama has uncovered the abuse of the residents, which the government calls shocking and is condemned.  This all comes after Bristol police threatened four people over the treatment of patients with learning difficulties at Winterbourne View. Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said he was determined to strengthen safeguards for vulnerable adults.

NHS Southwest is appalled over the abuse.  And the woners of t he hospital Castlebeck, have apologised and suspended 13 employees.  the undercover filming took place over 5 weeks, and Panorama’s cameraman captured footage of some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients being repeatedly pinned down, slapped, dragged into showers while fully clothed, taunted and teased.

Mr Burstow said: “The abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View uncovered by Panorama is shocking. There can be no place for such inhumanity in care services.  “There have been failures of inspection and adult protection which have exposed people to appalling abuse.  “I am determined to strengthen the system of safeguarding to protect vulnerable adults from abuse.”  BBC

As a result, Avon and Somerset police confirmed three men – aged 42, 30 and 25 – and a 24-year-old woman were arrested as part of their investigation into the hospital.  Burstow has oredered a thorough investigation.

The programme decided to film secretly after being approached by a former senior nurse at the hospital who was deeply concerned about the behaviour of some of the support workers there.  “I have seen a lot over 35 years but this I have never seen anything like this. It is the worst I have seen,” former nurse Terry Bryan told the programme.


Mr Bryan reported his concerns to both management at Winterbourne View and to the CQC, but his complaint was not taken up.  The CQC says it was alerted to the allegations on 12 May 2011 by Panorama reporter Paul Kenyon and carried out unannounced inspections on 17, 18 and 24 May.  And at this moment, there is a team ofrom mental health primary care trust at Winterbourne View and the CQC is in touch with them and going in regularly for informal visits.

It has also been suggested to Burtow, in writing, proposing the launch of a programme of risk-based and random unannounced inspections of a sample of the 150 hospitals providing care for people with learning disabilities, a move which the minister backed.  Meanwhile, Castlebeck has launced their own internal investigation into their whistle-blower procedures and are reviewing the records of all 580 patients in 56 facilities.

Winterbourne View can accommodate 24 patients and is taxpayer-funded, charging the state an average of £3,500 per patient per week.The Abuse Exposed was broadcast on BBC One on Tuesday 31 May at 2100 BST and is available to view in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.



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