Specialist Calls For Investigation Over Shocking Bristol Hospital Footage

Full Inquiry Demanded Into Winterbourne View Problems

01.06.2011

Experts at Irwin Mitchell are calling for a full inquiry to be carried out into the shocking evidence of abuse on patients at Bristol’s Winterbourne View residential hospital.

Police have arrested four people in relation to the problems of serious abuse at the 24-bedroom site, which were uncovered as part of secret filming carried out by the BBC’s Panorama documentary series.

Among the most alarming instances of abuse shown in the footage are vulnerable adults being punched and slapped by carers at the hospital, as well as some patients being doused in cold water.

Patients at the site have been moved following the release of the footage, while operator Castlebeck has apologised over the problems at the hospital.

Medical law specialists at Irwin Mitchell have a wealth of experience in helping the families of victims of abuse and neglect at care homes secure justice over the failings identified at such sites.

The law firm also acts for the families of individuals who have been inappropriately placed in residential facilities, using the Mental Capacity Act to ensure the care and placement of vulnerable adults is in their best interests.

Jonathan Peacock, a Partner and expert in the area at the firm’s Bristol office, was involved in the shocking case relating to the Maypole Nursing Home in Birmingham, where a series of serious care failings led to the deaths of 27 residents in just a year.

Commenting on the revelations about Winterbourne View, he said: “While it is welcome to see that the care home operator and the police have reacted quickly to the shocking footage which was emerged from the hospital, there are now major questions to be answered by the regulators as to how these problems were allowed to develop and continue.

“Our work in similar cases has shown that the families of the residents at the hospital will be angry and distressed that the trust they place in staff has been broken in such a terrible and alarming manner. It is also unlikely that anything less than a full and open inquiry will be acceptable to those affected and their relatives.

“It is vitally important that a formal investigation is carried out into the problems at Winterbourne View that will provide all of the answers such families will want.

“Ultimately, the results of such an inquiry should help to ensure that lessons can be learnt from this horrific case that will in turn go some way to preventing the problems from being repeated at any other residential hospital or care home in the future.”