A controversial care home exposed by Panorama for its alleged mistreatment of vulnerable people ”systematically failed” to protect patients from abuse, a damning report ruled today.
Winterbourne View care home was closed after a five-week undercover BBC investigation filmed disabled adults being slapped, kicked, sat on, and drenched with water.
The 24-bed purpose-built facility – costing £3,500 per patient per week – was run by Castlebeck Care, a company with a £90 million turnover.
Today the Care Quality Commission (CQC) released a report slamming the company, which said it ”failed to protect the safety and welfare” of patients at Winterborne View in Bristol.
The 45-page report found managers neglected to report major incidents, did not properly investigate staff conduct and failed to respond appropriately to allegations of abuse.
Castlebeck Care also did not have arrangements in place to protect patients from unlawful or excessive use of restraint and failed to provide appropriate training to staff.
Amanda Sherlock, CQC’s Director of Operations said: ”This report is a damning indictment of the regime at Winterbourne View and its systemic failings to protect the vulnerable people in its care.
”It is now clear that the problems at Winterbourne View were far worse than were initially indicated by the whistle-blower.
”He has stated that he was not aware of the level of abuse until he saw the footage from the secret filming.
”We now know that the provider had effectively misled us by not keeping us informed about incidents as required by the law.
”Had we been told about all these things, we could have taken action earlier. We will now consider whether it would be appropriate to take further legal action.
”The most important outcome of all this is that the people who had been living at Winterbourne View are no longer subject to this culture of abuse.
”Our plans for a programme of random, unannounced inspections of hospitals providing care for people with learning disabilities are well underway and we will report back in due course.”
The report was immediately launched after the CQC was informed the BBC had footage relating to alleged abuse at the home.
Inspectors found staff did not appear to understand the needs of the people in their care and had been recruited despite having no background in care services.
They said some members of staff were ”too ready” to resort to restraining patients without considering alternatives first.
BBC Panorama were tipped off by whistle-blower Terry Bryan, a former senior nurse at Winterborne, who had previously alerted authorities about alleged abuse.
The CQC yesterday admitted they had been contacted but failed to directly liase with Mr Bryan and instead assumed other authorities were addressing issues he raised.
Panorama journalist Joe Casey wore a secret camera to film apparent shocking scenes of abuse on patients by staff who were meant to be looking after them.
The reporter captured footage of some of the hospital’s most vulnerable patients, who suffer from autism and learning difficulties, being repeatedly pinned down.
Some were slapped and dragged into showers while fully clothed, while others were taunted and teased.
Castlebeck Care – which has 24 locations across the country – closed Winterbourne View on June 24, after transferring all patients to alternative services.
Police have arrested and bailed 11 members of staff following the expose, which was broadcast in May.