Authorities 'Must Ensure Lessons Are Learnt From Care Home Scandal'

Independent Report Details ‘Institutional Abuse’ By Medical Professionals

07.08.2012

A medical negligence expert has called on the authorities responsible for a ‘shocking catalogue of abuse’ at the Winterbourne View care home in South Gloucestershire to show lessons have been learnt from the failings published today (7 August) in a damning report by an independent review.

The owners of the care home, health regulators, local health services and police were all criticised for failing to protect patients, despite warning signs of abuse by staff at the privately-run hospital in a report by social and health care specialist, Margaret Flynn.

Footage of the terrible treatment of patients at Winterbourne View appeared on BBC1’s Panorama last year and caused a national scandal when video appeared to show vulnerable patients being pinned down, slapped, doused in water and taunted.

Irwin Mitchell has represented numerous families of elderly and vulnerable people who have suffered serious neglect and abuse while residing in care homes and hospitals across the UK.

The firm acted for families whose loved ones were affected by problems at the notorious Maypole Nursing Home in Birmingham – where 27 residents died in a single year.

Julie Lewis, an Irwin Mitchell Partner who specialises in helping those neglected by health professionals, said:  “The footage shown on the BBC 1 Panorama programme last year shocked the nation and left us appalled. Winterbourne View care home, like all privately run and NHS hospitals, should be a safe haven where patients are treated with care and compassion.

“Instead, vulnerable adults were left in the hands of poorly trained and supervised members of staff who inflicted a shocking catalogue of abuse on the people they were employed to care for.

“It is particularly worrying that the 150-page report released today details hundreds of incidents of restraint and dozens of assaults on patients at Winterbourne View which shows the shocking scale of the problem.

“The authorities must show lessons have been learnt - not only to prevent further instances of abuse, but to reassure those currently in care and to act as an example to other care homes across the country that the institutional abuse of patients can never happen again.
“We continue to be contacted by the families of vulnerable patients who have been let down by medical professionals.

“It is simply not acceptable and authorities across the board must do their utmost to protect patients and put preventative measures in place through better training and supervision so vulnerable people are not put at risk in care homes.”