Winterbourne View Hospital

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Winterbourne View Hospital

Winterbourne View Hospital was a 24-bed hospital that was registered to provide assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for people with learning disabilities and autism. Unfortunately, instead of protecting patients form any abuse, staff was proven to mistreat and abuse the service users.

These events first came to light in May 2011. Prompted by concerns raised by a former staff member, a journalist working for the BBC managed to get a job in that hospital. Using a hidden camera, he documented acts of bullying, physical and mental abuse. During five weeks he captured patients being pinned down, slapped, dragged into showers while fully clothed, taunted and teased. Right after publishing the material, 13 employees were suspended and patients moved to other homes. The programme was so shocking that has quickly become a public concern.

CQC chairman Dame Jo Williams admitted the failure to follow up the complaints from a former nurse at the home. She said that a former member of staff contacted CQC on two or three occasions, but no action was taken and that she is absolutely determined that they must do better.

South Gloucestershire Council said that it takes all allegations of abuse very seriously and as soon as the Safeguarding Adults Board was informed about it, appropriate action was taken in line with procedures and protocols.

The police did not follow up the incidents either. Although 29 incidents were reported, 8 of which concerned staff using physical restraint on patients, no action had been taken by the police.

High rate of admission of patients to A&E had not been investigated either, although some of them were the results of restraining procedures in a hospital.

As a result, two nurses and nine support workers who admitted abusing patients were sentenced, with some jailed for up to two years. They were all placed on the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s list of people barred from working with vulnerable...
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