Arrests in the wake of Panorama care home expose

Posted by Alexander Hay

For once, it seems the bad guys aren't getting away with it

What care can we expect in the wake of the Panorama report?

Very occasionally, journalism actually does what it claims it's there to do and gets some results. BBC news should be feeling proud of themselves today:

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...

The only question is how many other privately run, government funded places like this are there? Events at Winterbourne View may well have carried on were it not for the investigation. It puts the government's plans for NHS 'diversification' into stark relief, especially given how an increasing amount of residential care for the elderly will inevitably be outsourced.


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Alexander Hay

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