Care Home Scandal could happen again
7th August 2012
It has been reported today that another Winterbourne View care home scandal could happen again unless action is taken by the government. The warning has resulted as a serious case review into the abuse of patients at Winterbourne View care home and due to be released.
Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation have spoken of the risks of moving patients hundreds of miles.
Abuse of patients at the private Winterbourne View care home was uncovered by secret filming by the BBC Panorama programme in May last year.
Since this, Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation have received 260 reports from families concerning abuse and neglect in institutional care.
The charities state that there are currently hundreds of people with a learning disability in assessment and treatment units like Winterbourne View. Many of these are located hundreds of miles from home, where people are at particular risk of neglect and abuse.
The Department of Health have commented to the BBC that it is vital that all services are commission properly, reviewed regularly and not used as a long-term solution.
Sophie Bales, medical injury solicitor at Ashton KCJ comments:
“Abuse and neglect of our elderly and most vulnerable is a deeply distressing issue. At some point in time, those most dear to us may have to spend time in private care homes or units. We need to know that these services are safe and that patients are receiving a good standard of care. This is made even more crucial if patients are taken to units far away from their community and family.
We need to know that measures are in place to prevent atrocities such as Wilbourne View from happening again.
It is vital that private care services are as strictly commissioned as those in the NHS. Furthermore, the issue of regulating the private sector is now becoming even more vital as more and more NHS services are being contracted out to the private sector. Extra measures need to be put in place to ensure safety of patients and consistency of service”