10th Anniversary of Winterbourne View Scandal and Transforming Care Programme

Window with bars across it
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Window with bars across it

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of the BBC Panorama programme that exposed the shocking treatment of the patients at Winterbourne View.  Panorama had sent an undercover journalist into Winterbourne View, a private hospital in Bristol that provided assessment and treatment for adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.

The programme showed the residents being physically assaulted and humiliated by members of staff at the hospital.  The programme also alleged that records were being falsified, there was deprivation of liberty, excessive use of physical restraint, a poor quality of life for the claimants and breaches of their human rights.   In 2012, 11 members of staff were convicted of over 40 offences between them.

10 years on the changes promised by the Government have not been delivered under their Transforming Care programme.  I still hear from concerned family members who have a loved one in a hospital many miles from home.  Those people could and should be supported in the community, with family close by and appropriate support and care provided.  Unfortunately, I have heard recent stories about poor care and abusive and inhuman practices.

Mencap, a UK charity for people with a learning disability, has launched a campaign to call upon the Government to deliver on their promises.  The government had made a commitment to close such long-stay institutions as Winterbourne View and for all people with learning disabilities and/or autism who were inappropriately placed in hospital to be moved to community-based support.

You can support Mencap’s campaign here – www.mencap.org.uk/transformingcare.

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