Winterbourne View abuse report calls for changes to care

Review author Margaret Flynn: ”There can be no question that patients have been traumatised”

7 August 2012 Last updated at 12:35

Fundamental changes should be made to how care for vulnerable adults is commissioned and monitored, a report into abuse at a private hospital said.

The serious case review into events at Winterbourne View near Bristol comes after 11 former staff members admitted offences against patients.

Owners Castlebeck took “financial reward without the responsibility”, the report’s author Margaret Flynn said.

South Gloucestershire Council said it “fully accepted” the findings.

The independent report also revealed concerns were raised before the Panorama report which uncovered abuse at Winterbourne View.

The safety of dozens of patients was raised but the NHS was only told about a handful.

‘Untrained staff’

From the opening of the hospital in 2006 until 2011, there were 38 safeguarding alerts raised about 20 patients from the unit. Only one in five of those was reported to the NHS.

Three alerts the NHS does not appear to have been notified of in any way – an allegation of abuse by staff, concerns about the attitude of some staff, and an allegation of assault by a member of staff.

Peter Murphy, the head of South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board, said he wanted to convey his “deep regret” for what had happened at the hospital.

“In particular, I would like to express our regret to the hospital’s patients and to their families, friends and carers,” he said.

“Winterbourne View hospital should have been a safe place for them to be treated with care and compassion.

“But the hospital’s owners, Castlebeck Care Ltd, failed to provide that care.”

Margaret Flynn, the report’s author, said Castlebeck had “promoted an unworkable management structure” and relied on “poorly paid and untrained staff”.

‘Poorly managed’

She added the firm did not “act on the concerns, complaints of Winterbourne View visitors or patients”.

But she also criticised South Gloucestershire Council for “out of sight, out of mind” commissioning when placing patients in Winterbourne View.

She said the staff were “chronically bored” in their roles at the hospital, which was “poorly managed”.

David Behan, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission, said: “There is much for all the organisations involved with Winterbourne View to consider in Margaret Flynn’s thorough and comprehensive report.

“I will ensure that the Care Quality Commission responds fully to all the recommendations for CQC.

“We will continue to work with other organisations to improve communications and sharing information to ensure we all protect those who are most vulnerable.”

The report was published as two organisations warned that moving people hundreds of miles away from their families increased the risk of abuse taking place.

Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation said they had received 260 reports from families concerning abuse and neglect in institutional care since the Panorama programme was broadcast.

Eleven former workers at the private hospital have pleaded guilty to almost 40 charges of abuse and are due to be sentenced later at Bristol Crown Court.

One Response to Winterbourne View abuse report calls for changes to care

  1. Bradley says:

    Hello this is bradley davies who has Asperger’s condition which is a genetic and their no cure for, but I downloaded a pdf private files of what a Autism unit looks like which is going to built by the National Autistic Society under Teresa James Commission in St.Julians Social Club in Newport South Wales. The word disorder means deranged which is only a medical term, all of this is known as locked in a prision
    like Carleons Orchad House carehome which has never be investagated yet this is payed by the taxpayers to shut them up and do very insane abuse to them like using ECT on them and brainwashing them in way which makes them confused.

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