Whorlton Hall and abuse of vulnerable adults – the next steps

Woman with her head resting on her knees
2 minute read

A criminal trial is underway to hold accountable members of staff of Whorlton Hall that have allegedly provided criminally negligent care to its disabled residents.

The police investigations started back in 2019 after a damning Panorama Documentary shed light into the living conditions of the residents. The undercover footage showed residents being excessively restrained and intimidated by staff which also triggered a CQC investigation and the suspension of a number of staff for a prolonged period.

Some of the same staff now stand accused on multiple counts of ill-treatment of patients and are standing trial.

Gary Walker, Managing Associate, specialising in supporting vulnerable abuse victims in healthcare settings, is representing an individual who was a resident at the facility.

Gary said “Holding these individuals accountable for their actions is really important to our client and their loved ones. When a vulnerable person is in hospital their entire life is dictated by the help and support they are offered from their caring team and when this support is replaced by abusive behaviour they are left with no means to fight against it. Through the years I have supported hundreds of clients that have suffered abuse in hospitals and care homes and this abuse can take many forms.”

Some of the common issues encountered in these cases include:

  • Failure to make sure the right care plans are in place to enable the patients to live a fulfilling life
  • Failure to identify and manage risks to the patients’ both physical and mental health
  • Failure to investigate allegations of assault and physical abuse
  • Usage of unnecessary over-medication or physical restraint
  • Bullying including using intimidating behaviours and threats
  • Sexual abuse

The list can go on as, unfortunately, the ways abuse can manifest in controlled settings is very varied. In most cases our clients are very vulnerable and are unable to understand that the treatment they received was abusive.

In Whorlton Hall’s case, the caring team standing trial is claiming that they were very understaffed, had not received proper training and were trying to support a group of patients with very challenging behaviours.

It is really important that we protect the ones most vulnerable in our communities. When things go wrong we need to rely on our legal system to try to put things to right and bringing an abuse claim can help with that. Any claim of abuse should be fully reviewed and if someone is found to have suffered physical and mental harm in a setting that was supposed to protect and help them they should be compensated for their injury.

If you have a loved one that was a resident in Whorlton Hall and want to have a free confidential discussion about ways we may be able to help them contact Gary Walker at gary.walker@enablelaw.com or give us a call on 0800 044 8488.

If you know of someone in a similar institution who may need help to get out of it and seek compensation and support to receive the help they need in a safe environment don’t hesitate to get in touch with our specialist Abuse Team.

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