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BTEC Health & Social Care
Unit 3: Health, Safety & Security in Health & Social Care

As well as taking care of the physical safety of people in our care, professionals need to protect their emotional security by providing a warm, safe and welcoming environment in which they can achieve their full potential. Below is an advertisement for a residential home for adults with learning disabilities.

Providing services for people with learning disabilities

We support men and women with learning disabilities, complex needs and challenging behaviour as well as those on the autistic spectrum and people with acquired brain injuries or mental health problems. Services understand disability and challenging behaviour. This can lead to positive outcomes for individuals with disabilities and their families. We support service users to progress along a pathway in a way that manages risk, including an ability to take positive risks while providing a structured programme of therapeutic activity. We can provide assessment and intervention for people aged over 18 throughout the UK.

In June 2011, this home was the subject of a BBC investigation into serious abuse of highly vulnerable residents. The news report is below: Police in Bristol have arrested four people after secret filming by BBC Panorama found a pattern of serious abuse at a residential hospital. Winterbourne View treats people with learning disabilities and autism. Andrew McDonnell, who works with adults with mental disabilities, labelled some of the examples seen on film "torture". All four have been released on police bail. The hospital's owners, Castlebeck, have apologised and suspended 13 employees. Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said government regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), had been asked to conduct an urgent investigation. Avon and Somerset police confirmed that three men - aged 42, 30 and 25 - and a 24-year-old woman were arrested as part of their ongoing investigation into the hospital. During five weeks spent filming undercover, Panorama's reporter 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. One member of staff trapped patients under chairs while he sat on them watching television.  A female patient had shower gel squirted in her eyes and was left in a freezing garden after having a jug of cold water poured over her. She was also asked by a carer: ‘Do you want me to get out a cheese grater and grate your face off? ‘Do you want me to turn you into a giant pepperoni? Shall I get a razor and cut you up?’ he added.

Mr McDonnell, a clinical psychologist who viewed the footage, told the programme that basic techniques for dealing with patients with challenging behaviour were ignored. He said he was shocked by some of the treatment of vulnerable patients. After seeing footage of an 18-year-old patient named Simone being verbally abused and doused with cold water while fully clothed as a punishment, he said: "This is not a jail... people are not here to be punished. "This is a therapeutic environment. Where's the therapy in any of this? I would argue this is torture." Secret filming caught patients being dragged and slapped by support workers Simone's parents told the programme that she had told them she was being abused at the hospital, but they had assured her that it would not be allowed to happen. "She told us that she had been hit, her hair had been pulled and she'd been kicked - and I said no, this wouldn't happen, they're not allowed," said the patient's mother. Professor Jim Mansell, from the University of Kent and a government adviser on the use of physical restraint for those with developmental disabilities, said that from the footage it appeared that staff were "waiting to pounce on people and restrain them". "This is the worst kind of institutional care.

BBC News June 1 2011

P1: Explain potential...
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