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Winterbourne View Report

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Winterbourne View Report

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  • September 3, 2013
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Winterbourne View

The Winterbourne View Hospital abuse occurred at Winterbourne View, a private hospital at Hambrook, South Gloucestershire, England, owned and operated by Castlebeck. It was exposed in a Panorama investigation into physical abuse and psychological abuse suffered by people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, this was broadcast in 2011. Local Social services and the English national requlator (CQC) had received various warnings but the mistreatment continued. One senior nurse reported his concerns to the management at Winterbourne View and to CQC, but his complaint was not taken up. The public funding hospital has been shut down as a result of the abuse that took place.

Abuse
The undercover footage showed staff repeatedly assaulting and harshly restraining patients under chairs. Staff gave patients cold punishment showers, left one outside in near zero temperatures, and poured mouthwash into another’s eyes. They pulled patient’s hair and forced medication into patient’s mouths. Victims were shown screaming and shaking and one patient was seen trying to jump out of a second floor window to escape the torment, and was then mocked by staff members. One patient was repeatedly poked in the eyes. A Clinical psychologist who reviewed the footage described the abuse as torture.

Reaction

On 21 June 2011, 86 people and organisations wrote to the Prime Minister, David Cameron about the revelations, “We are aware of the various actions currently being taken within and outside the government – such as the DH review and CQC internal enquiry. We hope to make submissions to those both individually and collectively. However, on their own these will not be enough and a clear programme is needed to achieve change.” The Prime Minister responded saying he was “appalled” at the “catalogue of abuses” Panorama uncovered. In June 2011 the Association of Supported Living issued a press statement, which was followed up in writing to every...