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Wednesday 10 February 2016
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Responses to the abuse of people with learning disabilities and autism at Winterbourne View

The information on this page is in three sections:


Panorama 1

The BBC programme shown on Tuesday 31 May 2011, Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed, showed disturbing scenes of people with a learning disability and autism being abused in a secure hospital - Castlebeck’s service at Winterbourne View in Bristol.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation produced an information sheet giving contact details of organisations where family carers can raise issues or concerns. There was also a list of information for families produced by the BBC.

This BBC report gives an overview of the programme's content and the first reactions.

No longer available on the BBC iPlayer, excerpts from the programme can be viewed on YouTube.


Panorama 2

On 29 October 2012 the BBC broadcast a follow up Panorama programme,  Winterbourne View - the hospital that stopped caring,  "Last year BBC Panorama exposed the violent abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View hospital outside Bristol. Now, using undercover footage never seen before, the programme reveals new evidence of poor training and false record-keeping. A number of former patients have faced further assaults or unnecessary restraints in other care establishments. Following the closure of Winterbourne View, and as 11 of its former staff are sentenced in court, Panorama asks: are the most vulnerable people in society any better protected?"

This programme is no longer available on the BBC iPlayer, The reaction to the programme is highlighted in the timeline below.


What's happened since

28 July 2015: Nine principles defining ‘good’ services for people whose behaviour challenges
NHS England, the Local Government Association, and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services have published a new draft national framework which they say is designed to improve the care of people with learning disabilities by shifting services away from hospital care and towards community-based settings. The service model is the latest piece of work to come from the Transforming Care for People with Learning Disabilities Programme and sets out nine principles which define good services for people with learning disabilities and autism. NHS England say that these principles will underpin how local services are redesigned over the coming months and years whilst still allowing for local councils to deviate slightly to accommodate for local needs and services.  More >  Download the new draft guidelines > 

23 July 2015: NHS England discuss the Transforming Care report in their board meeting
The Transforming Care Report and the new Service Model and Framework was discussed at the NHS England board meeting. It was item 6 on the agenda and can be read here >  The meeting was videoed and can be watched here > 

14 July 2015: NHS to stop 'over-medicating' people with learning disabilities
NHS England has pledged to take urgent action after a report highlighted as many as 1 in 6 people are being ‘over-medicated’ by healthcare professionals. The report, produced by Public Health England, estimates that up to 35,000 adults with a learning disability are being prescribed an antipsychotic, an antidepressant or both without appropriate clinical justification. The report is available here > An easy read version can be read here > 

In a letter sent to professionals and patients, NHS England urged the review of prescriptions and promised to spearhead a "call to action" to tackle the issue. The letter is available here > Available in easy read here >

Following from this, The NHS released advice for patients, families and carers in which they urged people to speak to their GP if they had any concerns about their medication. The guide can be read here > An easy read version can be read here >

The report, 'Improving the use of medicines in people with learning disabilities' can be downloaded here >

14 July 2015: Winterbourne View - Time Is Running Out report published
Sir Stephen Bubb's six month review of his earlier report "Winterbourne View - Time for Change" has been published. The report reviews the progress and the future plans of the government's pledge to move people with learning disabilities out of institutions. In it he writes, "there is a definite shift in the direction and commitment to change." The report is available here > An easy read version can be read here >

3 July 2015: Transforming Care for People with Learning Disabilities - Next Steps is published
The Transforming Care Delivery Board has published a Progress Report on improving services for people with learning disabilities. The report sets out progress made towards achieving the joint ambitions laid out in Transforming Care for People with Learning Disabilities - Next Steps. 

Read the:

9 February 2015: NHS to shut many residential hospitals for "in the next 12 - 24 months"
NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens said that residential hospitals for people with learning disabilities will close 'in the next 12 - 24 months', following questioning by MPs in a Public Accounts Committee held today. 

Health Chiefs also intend to force closure or reform of up to 49 private hospitals that provide long-term accommodation for people with learning disabilities or autism whose behaviour is considered challenging. One company has already been refused a licence to operate.  The announcement caught MPs and campaigners by surprise as there had been no reference to closure plans in a report published a fortnight ago by NHS England on its efforts to breathe new life into the stalled care reform agenda following the Winterbourne View scandal. 

"Plans for a closure programme would be drawn up over the next six months and would focus on the north and parts of the Midlands, where NHS hospital numbers were highest. But steps would also be taken to curb referrals to the private sector," Stevens said. More >

4 February 2015: Government failing on community care pledge, says Audit body
Ministers have failed to honour a pledge to move patients with learning disabilities out of hospitals and into community care, the National Audit Office (NAO) - which scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament - says in a report published this week. Care services for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, download here >

“NHS England has made a disappointingly slow start to this task. Although it has now increased its activity, there are formidable care, organizational and service hurdles to overcome in establishing a new model of care in more appropriate settings”, said Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office.

'A considerable amount can be achieved if you strip away layers of vested interests'
The Justice for LB campaign responded to the NAO report this week by publishing their own version, Actually improving care services for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour, more and download here >  “We believe that the JusticeforLB campaign demonstrates that a considerable amount can be achieved if you strip away layers of tired bureaucracy, hierarchy and vested interests and just get on with it. In a genuinely collective way.”

29 January 2015: After Bubb, it's NHS England's "next steps in transforming care"
NHS-Commissioned learning disability providers could be fined for failing to implement a new set of national standards being developed to help cut the number of inappropriate inpatient placements of people with learning disabilities. The proposal is one of a set of measures set out in a report by the government, NHS England and council leaders published this week.

The report also commits to giving every person with a learning disability or autism and their families the right to request an independent review of inpatient placements and says that the government will consider several changes to the law to strengthen the rights of people with learning disabilities. Details on law reform are likely to be set out in a green paper that care minister Norman Lamb has promised will appear before the general election in May. More background and analysis in Community Care > 

26 November 2014: Winterbourne View - Time for change report published 
Stephen Bubb's report for NHS England on Transforming commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities has been published today. The report - "Winterbourne View - Time for Change" - offers 10 recommendations for the NHS, local government, regulators and the government. They include a framework to support people with learning disabilities and autism to move out of hospitals and into the community.  The report is available here >   Read BILD's response here >

31 October 2014: NHS England update paper, 'Transforming care for people with a learning disability', for the next NHS England Board meeting on 6 November.  More > 

30 October 2014: “It’s become starkly clear how disempowered people are in this system”
Stephen Bubb, the chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, who was in July appointed by the NHS to lead a steering group to demonstrate how the voluntary sector might solve the problems raised by Winterbourne View, has given an interview to Society Guardian. He outlined key proposals, including a building and property acquisition programme backed by social finance, but pump-primed by cash from Libor fines paid by banks, and new rights for disabled people to challenge decisions on where they are sent to live.  More >

1 August and 18 August 2014: Developing a national framework for local commissioning of community based support for people with learning disabilities
Minutes of first formal meeting of Stephen Bubb's steering group of 28 July and subsequent meeting on 18 August. Download the minutes of both meetings, terms of reference and two papers: National Framework for local commissioning, and workforce development. More >

18 July 2014: NHS England say people with learning disabilities will not be left out of group to shape future of care
NHS England has sought to address learning disabled service users and families’ anger over their lack of involvement in the creation of a steering group to help cut inappropriate hospital placements in the wake of Winterbourne View.

Chief nursing officer Jane Cummings pledged that service users and families would be fully involved in the group and that its membership and terms of reference were yet to be decided, in response to concerns that plans had been drawn up by sector leaders behind closed doors. Cummings, who leads for NHS England on the Winterbourne programme, stressed that matters were at an “early stage”, and that no plan had been agreed to transform services.  More > 

16 July 2014: Labour demands a two year deadline for transfer of patients from ATUs 
Labour wants the government to make a commitment to stop placing those with learning disabilities into assessment and treatments units (ATUs) for lengthy periods. It is also calling on ministers to ensure by mid-2016 that people with learning disabilities can stay closer to their families and friends. NHS figures show that nine out of 10 current ATU inpatients still don’t have a date for their discharge. The figures show that more than 2,600 people with learning disabilities − including almost 150 children − are still being kept in the units. Shadow care and older people minister Liz Kendall said: 

“Ministers promised to move people with learning disabilities out of assessment and treatment units and into the community. It’s a scandal that only a third of the people who were in ATUs last April have since been transferred out and that even today, more people are being sent into them than are being discharged. We need clear, personal and public commitments from ministers. It’s time that they made good on their promises.”  

14 July 2014: National group to drive improved healthcare support for people with learning disabilities

NHS England has asked Sir Stephen Bubb, the Chief Executive of charity leaders network ACEVO, to head a new group of experts and advisors to develop a national guide for how we provide health and care for those with learning disabilities. The group will also include healthcare, charity and voluntary sectors, as well as with people with learning disabilities and their families. It aims to design more innovative and integrated local commissioning of healthcare and housing to best support people with learning disabilities at home and in their communities, reducing reliance on hospital care.  More >  Read Stephen Bubb's account of the background to his appointment on his blog > 

Following the announcement of the new NHS England group and its plan, there has been a number of reactions from a range of people, including the families of people who have been cared for in ATUs at some point in their lives. Sara Ryan describes her reaction to Bubb's new post in her blog. 'My Daft Life':

"This ill (non?) informed man is apparently tasked (why? At what cost?) by the newly appointed head of NHS England to sort out the reduction of the numbers of people in ATUs and improve healthcare of learning disabled people. With no apparent understanding, knowledge or experience of learning disabled people. And no apparent engagement with any learning disabled people or family members."  Sara Ryan's blog post, 'Bill, Bubb and the Plan'>  Read Mark Neary's blog post, 'A hearty breakfast' >  Chris Hatton's blog post 'Deja vu all over again'> 

7 July 2014: Bill Mumford resigns after second safeguarding issue at MacIntyre school
Bill Mumford has resigned with immediate effect as Programme Director of the Department of Health's Winterbourne View Joint Improvement programme after a second MacIntyre school was reported as being involved in a safeguarding issue involving the police. Mumford was on secondment from the charity, MacIntyre, where he was chief executive.  Read his personal statement >  Read MacIntyre's statement > [link no longer working]

2 July 2014: Health and wellbeing boards: leading local responses to Winterbourne View
NHS Confederation publishes a practical guide for Health and wellbeing boards: "Health and wellbeing boards can play a significant role in leading local response to Winterbourne View – making a real difference by helping reshape local services to improve health outcomes for children and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism who have mental health conditions or behaviour that challenges." Download the briefing here >

27 June 2014: NHS England publishes further analysis of ‘Assuring Transformation’ data
NHS England has today published a more detailed analysis of the quarterly ‘Assuring Transformation’ data published on 16 May 2014. This data informs on progress on the NHS commitments in the Winterbourne View Concordat as of 31 March 2014. This analysis shows that as at 31 March 2014:

  • 35% of patients that were in hospital on 1 April 2013 have now been transferred.
  • Of a total of 2,615 patients, 256 have a transfer date, of which 182 are before 1 June 1, 2014
  • 1,702 patients do not have a planned transfer date due to a clinical decision preventing it. Many of these people have very complex needs. Some may be too ill or possibly a danger to themselves or the public. A total of 534 patients are in high or medium secure services and most are subject to Ministry of Justice order.
  • 88% of people admitted in the 12 months after 1 March 2013 do not have a transfer date
  • 81% of people who have not had a formal review in six months have been in hospital for over a year.

3 April 2014: Government launch 'Positive and Proactive Care'
Following increasing concerns about the inappropriate use of restrictive interventions across health and care settings; including ‘Transforming Care: a national response to Winterbourne View Hospital’ (DH 2012), ‘Mental Health Crisis Care: physical restraint in crisis’ (Mind 2013), and a recent inspection of inpatient learning disability services by the Care Quality Commission the Department of Health today launched its new guidance about reducing restrictive interventions.

The Royal College of Nursing led on reviewing, consulting and developing the new guidance. BILD was involved in the development of both pieces of work through the steering group for Skills for Care and the Expert Reference Group for the DH guidance.


3 April: Skills for Care launch 'A Positive and Proactive Workforce'

Launched with the new DH guidance, Skills for Care and Skills for Health have co-produce guidance on commissioning or delivering workforce development for adult social care workers and health workers in England. 

The new guidance will improve commissioner and provider decision making when planning, purchasing or providing learning and development about supporting people positively and carrying out restrictive practices and interventions as part of that. A clear framework for workforce development decisions in this area will also help to rationalise the investment needed in learning and development.  Find out more, download the guidance >

31 March 2014: BILD announce new edition of the BILD Code of Practice

Since first published in 2001, the 'BILD Code of Practice for the use and reduction of restrictive physical interventions' has helped raise standards and change practice for commissioners, training organisations and trainers. The third edition of the Code, published in 2010, has undergone a fundamental review - including a consultation, focus group meetings, an internal review and external critical reading - in light of:

  • New guidance from the Department of Health 
  • The work of the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme
  • The growth in evidence for Positive Behaviour Support approaches
  • An updated legislative framework

As a result, a new fourth edition of the Code, the ‘BILD Code of Practice for minimising the use of restrictive physical interventions: planning, developing and delivering training’, will be published in May. Sales of the third edition of the Code ceased on 31 March. Find out more >

25 March: Improving Lives - Ensuring that the former Winterbourne View residents and others are getting good quality care and support
Improving Lives will assess the quality of care currently being provided to people with learning disabilities or autism and additional complex needs. A key aim of Improving Lives is to identify and embed good practice. More about Improving Lives >

20 March 2014: Just one in ten have date set for transfer back to the community 
‘The lack of action’ on moving people with learning disabilities or autism out of hospitals into community-based care cannot continue, care minister Norman Lamb has warned after NHS England figures exposed the lack of progress. 'Making sure the right care is provided is a complex process. 'However, assessment, care plans and transfer dates are key and it’s taking some commissioners too long to do them. This lack of action cannot continue.'

The NHS England data identified 2,577 relevant patients with learning disabilities or autism and additional mental health problem, in hospitals as of 31 December 2013. Of these, 260 were due to transfer out of inpatient care, and 172 had a transfer date before 1 June. The biggest reason for the lack of a transfer date – in 1108 cases – was a clinical decision. More >

19 March 2014: Data returns - a blog posting by Bil Mumford
The NHS England data returns of people with learning disabilities and autism in secure and non secure hospital settings confirmed that the hospital discharge programme is seriously adrift from the original Transforming Care milestones. The December data has clearly shown, that the challenge of meeting the Concordat commitments has proven to be much more difficult than everyone initially believed. The next set of data will be three months on from this date so we are realistic in not expecting a significant fall in figures, and we expect to see gradual decline. More >

18 March 2014: NHS England data on transfer dates for people with learning disabilities, autism and behaviour that challenges
Following the Winterbourne View enquiry, NHS England agreed to “review all current hospital placements and support everyone inappropriately placed in hospital to move to community-based support as quickly as possible and no later than 1 June 2014” (Winterbourne View Concordat signed December 2012). 

To assure the public and the Department of Health that the NHS commitments in the Winterbourne View Concordat are delivered, a data collection for all NHS commissioners was introduced with effect from 9 January 2014.The data published is the position as of the 31 December 2013.  More >

18 March: The In-depth review process - making change happen locally
The Joint Improvement Programme has announced details of the In-depth review process (IDR) which is aimed at providing bespoke support to a number of local areas to help them to meet the Government target and ensure local planning that is prevention focused and will reduce the reliance on restrictive settings in the future.

A number of Supported Improvement Advisers have been recruited to support the IDR process. Each area will work in partnership with one of the Advisers, who will act as a ‘critical friend’ in supporting local analysis and activity. 

An initial 16 areas have agreed to be part of the in-depth review process with local area plans to be completed by the end of March 2014. Timescales for delivery will be dependent on each area, but outlined clearly in each local plan. Another 19 areas will be joining the process during March, with the aim of local area plans being in place by the end of April 2014. More about the In-depth review process >

5 March 2014: 'Commissioners ‘complacent’ on ending Winterbourne-style care' 
Bill Mumford, director of the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme (WVJIP), said the government’s original ambition of ending inappropriate placements by June 2014 would now not be met. He said that “there is no doubt that where we are is nothing like where we wanted to be” and that the WVJIP was having to be “re-engineered” so that the support was “more focused” on helping commissioners deliver the necessary changes.

Mumford was was seconded to lead the WVJIP in December from his role as chief executive of learning disability provider Macintyre, following the departure of its previous two leads, Chris Bull and Ian Winter and amid criticism of how the programme had been run in its first year. More >

3 March 2014: Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme FAQs
In an effort to explain what they do and what progress is being made where, the Joint Improvement programme have published a page of frequently asked questions about their work. More >

28 Feb 2014: Ensuring quality services
The Joint Improvement Programme publishes 'Ensuring quality services: core principles for the commissioning of services for children, young people, adults and older people with learning disabilities and/or autism who display or are at risk of displaying behaviour that challenges' aimed at helping commissioners ensure service delivery meets the needs of people with learning disabilities and / or autism who display or are at risk of displaying behaviour that challenges. More >  Download the easy read version >

28 Feb 2014: Making change happen locally: The In Depth Review process
The Joint Improvement Programme announces details of the In-depth review process (IDR). The IDR is aimed at providing bespoke support to a number of local areas to: help them to meet the Government target to ensure that "everyone inappropriately in hospital will move to community-based support as quickly as possible and no later than 1 June 2014", and ensure local planning that is prevention focused and will reduce the reliance on restrictive settings in the future. 

An initial 16 areas have agreed to be part of the in-depth review process. Local area plans will be completed by the end of March 2014. Timescales for delivery will be dependent on each area, but outlined clearly in each local plan. The JIP will be liaising with a further 19 areas during March 2014, with the aim of local area plans being in place by the end of April. More >

28 Feb 2014: "Everyone, with no exception, deserves a place to call home" 
In his personal blog on the Local Government Association website, Bill Mumford gives a powerful update on the new approach and energy in the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement programme. "Everyone, with no exception, deserves a place to call home. Person by person, area by area, the number of people with learning disabilities and autism in secure hospitals or assessment and treatment settings will permanently reduce. At the same time local community-based support and early intervention will improve to the point it will become extremely rare for a person to be excluded from the right to live their life outside of a hospital setting. More >

19 Dec 2013: Transforming Care One Year On & Learning Disabilities Census Report
Two very important documents have been published this week: the Department of Health report, ‘Winterbourne View: Transforming Care One Year On’ and the the ‘Learning Disabilities Census Report’ produced by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The HSCIC census found that there were 3,250 people with learning disabilities in units as of September – virtually the same figure as when the last census was carried out in March 2010. Sixty per cent of this group had been on hospital wards for over a year. It also found that one in five are being treated more than 60 miles away from home. This lack of progress was described as a “national disgrace” by respected commentator and former Department of Health personalisation lead Martin Routledge

The Department of Health's one year on report was less bleak than sector leaders’ comments, finding that most of the 75 commitments in the concordat have been delivered or are on track. However, a foreword from Norman Lamb acknowledged that the pace of progress will need to be accelerated if the June 2014 target is to be met. He also pointed out that there is still doubt over the number of people whom the Winterbourne programme should be seeking to help. More >

16 Dec 2013: Bill Mumford to lead Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme
Bill Mumford, chief executive of Macintyre is appointed as Programme Director for the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme (JIP). The role is funded by the Department of Health and he will be seconded with immediate effect into the Local Government Association where he will report directly to the LGA and NHS England. 

10 Oct 2013: Winterbourne View: have the lessons been learned?
The Winterbourne scandal shocked the healthcare profession and the public alike, but one year on, how much has changed? Research published in the Journal of Adult Protection highlights the need to develop accountable and valued services for adults with learning disabilities and autism. It explores how corporate bodies could be held criminally responsible for abuse and neglect, and proposes ways of making better use of mental health legislation. More >

5 June 2013: Partners issue joint statement 2 years after Winterbourne View
The Department of Health, NHS England, Local Government Association, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Care Quality Commission and the National Forum of People with Learning Disabilities have issued a statement. More >

10 April 2013: Respond launch Winterbourne View Helpline
Following the Panorama expose of the abuse that was occurring at Winterbourne View, families and former patients are speaking out and demanding that this type of abuse does not happen again.  Although there has been significant response in terms of campaigning, policy work and legal challenges, emotional support for those affected has been lacking. To help address this gap in services the Department of Health awarded Respond a grant to provide a helpline, family support sessions and individual assessments.

From 11 April Respond are launching the Winterbourne View Helpline,  0808 808 0700 which is open Thursdays from 10 am - 4 pm. This is for former patients, their families, friends, professionals and others affected by the abuse at Winterbourne View.  More >

10 December 2012:  Winterbourne View: Government rethinks use of hospitals 
Department of Health publishes final Winterbourne report, the Concordat agreement for the way forward, a summary of responses to the report's engagement, and good practice examples.

Download the documents from the Department of Health website >

You can read BILD's response here >

30 October 2012:  Care home owners 'must be held to account'  Norman Lamb, Care Services Minister answers Urgent Question re Panorama and Winterbourne View in the House of Commons at 12.30 today: "The owners at a corporate level of these organisations must be held to account for things that go on in their homes." "Mr Lamb will deliver a final report on the steps the Government plans for the sector at the end of November." "Part of the Government's response was ensuring a "substantial reduction" in the number of patients with behavioural difficulties being admitted to hospitals." More >

30 October 2012:  Winterbourne View lessons: using restraint 

Article by BILD's Physical Intervention Accreditation Scheme Manager, Phil Howell on 'Winterbourne View lessons: using restraint', published by Community Care >

30 October 2012:  Panorama's Winterbourne View follow-up shows not much has changed  An article in the Guardian by Bill Mumford, chair of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group, calls for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) to "step in and evaluate and judge commissioning as in the same way it does for new medicines or other therapeutic interventions. It should explore the effectiveness, suitability and value for money of assessment and treatment centres." More >

30 October 2012:  BBC Panorama: Winterbourne View - the hospital that stopped caring 
Missed Panorama last night? Watch it on the BBC iPlayer >

29 October 2012: BBC Panorama: Winterbourne View - the hospital that stopped caring  The BBC broadcast another Panorama programme about the implications of Winterbourne View. 'A year after Panorama exposed the violent abuse patients suffered at the Winterbourne View hospital, Alison Holt investigates if society's most vulnerable are any better protected.' More >

29 October 2012: Winterbourne View scandal: Call for new care home neglect law The Winterbourne View scandal has shown the need for a new offence of “corporate wilful neglect” to prosecute care home-owners for allowing abuse to go on behind closed doors, the former care minister has said. Paul Burstow, who until the recent reshuffle was minister of state for care services, said companies should be brought to book alongside the staff committing the abuse.
More > 

Simone Blake, who was seen being abused in the first Panorama programme, has since been made subject to a safeguarding alert - with four staff members suspended - at the NHS hospital she was moved to after leaving Winterbourne View. More > 

26 October 2012:  Winterbourne View defendants sentenced at Bristol Crown Court  Care workers who admitted a total of 38 charges of neglect or abusing patients at a private hospital are sentenced at Bristol Crown Court. The 11 workers from Winterbourne View near Bristol were shown pinning down and hitting patients, in a BBC Panorama undercover report shown last year. Ringleader Wayne Rogers, 32, who admitted nine counts of ill-treating patients, was jailed for two years.  More >

25 October 2012:  Winterbourne View: Medication was forced on patients  Three care workers at a private hospital exposed by BBC Panorama abusing patients were filmed forcing medication into a patient's mouth, a sentencing hearing was told. More >

24 October 2012: 
Has Castlebeck really been transformed since the Winterbourne View scandal?
  Article in Guardian about Castlebeck's attempts to radically change their services for people with learning disabilities in their care post-Winterbourne. Mentions BILD's role in supporting these changes. More >

23 October 2012: Winterbourne View care home staff face cruelty sentences  Staff at a care home exposed by an undercover television investigation used restraint techniques to inflict pain, humiliate vulnerable patients and bully them into compliance, a court heard yesterday. Report on first day of Winterbourne View sentencing, expected to last up to three days. More >

23 October 2012:
Earlier Winterbourne View abuse investigated in BBC programme  BBC Inside Out West programme shown last night, now available for 6 days on the iPlayer. Investigates abuse at Winterbourne before the BBC Panorama programme filmed there last year. More about this >   Watch on iPlayer >

22 October 2012: BBC Inside Out investigation of earlier Winterbourne abuse  BBC Inside Out investigation - only on BBC West tonihgt but may be available more widely on the iPlayer afterwards - about earlier abuse at Winterbourne View not yet investigated. More > 

Update: Police now decide to investigate case highlighted in this programme. More >

19 October 2012: BBC Panorama follow up programme announced  BBC Panorama programme 29 October: "Winterbourne View - the hospital that stopped caring", will be a follow up on Winterbourne View, following sentencing next week and with the DoH report likely to come out very shortly after.

19 October 2012: Whistleblower Blog
Terry Bryan, Whistleblower at Winterbourne View has written a blog about his experiences. More >

18 October 2012:  Sentencing to take place next week  The Recorder of Bristol, Judge Neil Ford QC, will take three days to decide each of the 11 defendants' punishment at Bristol Crown Court starting on October 22. During the three days, footage will be shown that was collected by the undercover reporter on the Panorama show which started the police investigation, in order to help the judge establish each defendant's role.  More here >

7 August 2012:  Out of Sight report published  Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation warn of the risk of “another Winterbourne View”, unless the Government takes strong action to stop people with a learning disability being sent to large institutions, often hundreds of miles from home. The charities have received 260 reports from families concerning the abuse and neglect of people with a learning disability in institutional care, since the Winterbourne View abuse scandal was uncovered by the BBC Panorama team in June 2011.  Download the Out of Sight report in full or in easy read >

7 August 2012:  NHS South of England report into Commissioning of care and treatment at Winterbourne View published. 

7 August 2012:  Winterbourne View Serious Case Review report published South Gloucestershire’s multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) today publishes the independent Serious Case Review into the events at the Winterbourne View private hospital.  

7 August 2012:  Care Quality Commission publish response  The Care Quality Commission have released a report 'Our role in Winterbourne View'. Dame Jo Williams, CQC chair, said,  “Winterbourne View was a watershed moment for CQC.  We did not respond as we should have and we have offered our apologies to the patients and their families. Chief Executive David Behan said, “There is much for all the organisations involved with Winterbourne View to consider…I will ensure that the Care Quality Commission responds fully to all the recommendations for CQC. 

6 August 2012:  Last Winterbourne View worker admits abusing patients
The last of 11 people accused of maltreating five patients at a private hospital has pleaded guilty. Michael Onyema Ezenagu, 28, from London, was due on trial at Bristol Crown Court but pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treating a patient. He and the 10 other defendants were originally detained after secret filming by the BBC's Panorama at Winterbourne View, near Bristol. The other defendants pleaded guilty at previous hearings.  More from the BBC >   

All the defendants will be sentenced at the same time. Ann Reddrop, head of complex cases at the Crown Prosecution Service in the South West, said she would ask the judge to take into account the seriousness of the crimes involved. "The CPS will ask Judge Ford to take into account the fact that these are disability hate crimes when determining the sentence of the defendants," she said. "As such he is able to impose an uplift in the sentence to reflect the seriousness in this type of crime. At Winterbourne View, people who should have been able to trust carers had that trust cruelly and repeatedly abused."

4 August 2012:  Winterbourne View defendant pleads guilty  The last remaining defendant accused over abuse at Winterbourne View was due to begin trial at Bristol Crown Court on Monday. However, it seems they pleaded guilty at the last minute on Friday. Expect now for the Care Quality Commission and the Department of Health to make statements and, maybe, actions, that were having to wait for the legal process to end.

31 July 2012:  Paul Burstow's message to NDTi conference about Winterbourne View  Paul Burstow MP, Minister of State for the Department of Health, has sent a video to the National Development Team for Inclusion's (NDTi) supported living conference. In the video Mr Burstow discusses the CQC report and the Department of Health's interim report into what happened at Winterbourne View. View the video on the Challenging Behaviour Foundation website >

19 July 2012:  Response to Department of Health over Winterbourne View Interim Report   A letter sent to Care Services Minister Paul Burstow by 154 people from the learning disability field has described the actions proposed in the DH's interim report on Winterbourne View as falling "some way short of what is needed" if real change is to be achieved. The letter is a follow up to the same group of people writing a year ago to the Prime Minister demanding action following the exposure of abuse at Winterbourne View. Download the letter >

4 July 2012: 
DH review – Winterbourne View Interim Report
   This letter from David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive and David Behan, Director General Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships highlights action to be taken forward by NHS bodies and local authorities as set out in the Department of Health's Winterbourne View Interim Report.

2 July 2012: 
Please email your MP
In response to the inadequate Interim Report by the Department of Health on Winterbourne View, Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation are asking people to email their MP to ensure the final report in the autumn has far stronger teeth to direct what is done locally in future.
Please take this e-action >

25 June 2012:  IHaL analysis of the CQC Review 
The Improving Health and Lives (IHaL): Learning Disabilities Observatory has analysed data collected during the CQC review and produced a report highlighting
that overall only one in seven of the residents in the 145 units were being supported in services compliant with both outcomes. Only 14% of people living in assessment and treatment units were in services that were fully compliant with both outcomes. The report highlights:

  • the size of many of the services - half of the units that were inspected were supporting 9 or more individuals and half of the individuals included in the inspection were living in services with 20 or more people.
  • the length of time people are spending in services. The majority (64%) of  assessment and treatment units were supporting at least one person who had been there for 3 years or more.
  • that compliance with the CQC regulations does not necessarily indicate the presence of high quality care. 

Emerson concludes “The disjunction between compliance and broader notions of quality in this, and other, instances may call into question the extent to which the current Regulations are fit for purpose for the inspection of Assessment and Treatment Units for people with learning disabilities.”

More on this on the IHaL website >

25 June 2012:  Half of learning disability services did not meet government standards
The Care Quality Commission publish the report of their inspection of 150 learning disabilty services announced in response to the abuse at Winterbourne View highlighted by the BBC's Panorama programme on 31 May 2011. Download the CQC Report here.

The Department of Health today published an interim report containing new proposals to improve the quality and safety of services for people with learning disabilities. Find out more and download the report on the Department of Health website.

Read BILD's response to these reports.
Read the responses of:

8 June 2012: New Chief Executive of CQC  David Behan has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), replacing Cynthia Bower who announced her resignation in February. Behan is currently director general for social care, local government and care partnerships at the Department of Health. Before that he was chief inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection and has been president of the Association of Directors of Social Services and director of social services for Greenwich, Middlesbrough and Cleveland councils.

28 May 2012: Winterbourne View Panorama wins BAFTA 
The Panorama programme which showed vulnerable patients being ill treated at Winterbourne View won the award for current affairs at the TV Baftas.  More  >

16 May 2012:  Winterbourne View campaign - take action!  Please email your MP today and ask them to call on the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley MP, to set out plans to ensure people with a learning disability are protected from abuse and supported in their communities, near their families and support networks

Take action!

15 May 2012:  Paul Burstow MP makes a ministerial statement on progress on matters arising from Winterbourne View  "Once the criminal proceedings are completed, we expect the Serious Case Review, chaired by Dr Margaret Flynn, to be published.The CQC will publish a summary national report of its inspections in the summer.  

In recognition of the seriousness of this issue, the Department intends to publish an interim report before summer recess, based on the findings of the CQC summary report and other evidence from the engagement with key partners, which will set out proposed actions and solutions."  More > 

27 April: CQC finds more concerns about learning disability residential care  Care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has released 36 more reports into standards at learning disability residential care facilities and found only 7 to be fully compliant with the 2 standards it was investigating. Major concerns were found at 5 facilities.

More here.
You can read the CQC reports on their website.

23 April 2012:  Winterbourne View Hospital bought after abuse  A private hospital near Bristol, where residents were secretly filmed being abused, has been bought and will become a neurological rehabilitation centre. Glenside Manor Healthcare Services said it would invest £1.5m in refurbishing Winterbourne View which is expected to reopen as Glenside Bristol in 2013.

More on the BBC website.

18 April 2012: More admit Winterbourne View abuse charges 

Two more people have admitted abuse charges relating to the former Winterbourne View learning disability residential hospital. Kelvin Fore and Neil Ferguson pleaded guilty to abusing the same patient in March 2011. In all, 9 people have now admitted their guilt in the case. In February, Wayne Rogers, Allison Dove and Holly Draper admitted charges, followed in March by Graham Doyle, Sookalingum Appoo, Danny Brake and Jason Gardiner. All are now awaiting sentencing. Two others face trial at Bristol Crown Court, which will take place in the summer.

16 March 2012:  Winterbourne View - More admit abuse charges  Four more people have pleaded guilty to ill treating residents at a private hospital near Bristol. Charges were brought against the four under the Mental Capacity Act.

More here: http://bbc.in/Ad2809

23 February 2012:  Performance and capability review of the Care Quality Commission  The Department of Health has published its Performance and Capability Review of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The review ran from October 2011 to February 2012, and was led by a panel of senior departmental officials and external reviewers, chaired by the Permanent Secretary. The review gathered evidence from a range of external stakeholders and CQC staff. It also considered findings of the recent reports from the Health Select Committee and the National Audit Office.

More here: http://bit.ly/yJLSQZ

The CQC has also today announced the resignation of its Chief Executive, Cynthia Bower.

14 February 2012:  Learning disability reports from the Care Quality Commission  The Care Quality Commission has published 20 reports from the programme of 150 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes that care for people with learning disabilities. The programme is looking at whether people experience safe and appropriate care, treatment and support and whether they are protected from abuse. A national report into the findings of the programme will be published in the Spring. An area of concern to emerge from an initial analysis of the first 40 reports is that many services are failing to provide patient-centred care - that is, care that is based on the individual needs of people using the services.

10 February 2012:  Winterbourne View care workers admit abuse 
Three employees from Winterbourne View,  at the centre of a television investigation into allegations of abuse, have admitted mistreating patients. More here: http://bit.ly/ADWMa9

8 February 2012:  Department of Health update re Winterbourne View  The Department of Health has sent update letters to PCTs and Local Authorities, about actions they are expected to be taking now further to the Winterbourne View issues.

Download the letter here: http://bit.ly/ykcVe1
Download the easy read version here: http://bit.ly/xxVadF

2 February 2012: The Department of Health send update letters to PCTs and Local Authorities about actions they are expected to be taking now further to the Winterbourne View issues. Read or download the letter. Read or download the easy read version.

11 January 2012: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) today published ten reports from a targeted programme of 150 unannounced inspections of hospitals and care homes that care for people with learning disabilities. The first five reports were published in December. The programme is looking at whether people experience safe and appropriate care, treatment and support and whether they are protected from abuse. A national report into the findings of the programme will be published in the Spring.

The ten inspections were of hospitals that provide assessment and treatment services. Inspections were focused on two outcomes relating to the government’s essential standards of quality and safety: the care and welfare of people who use services, and safeguarding people who use services from abuse. Of the ten locations inspected:

  • four locations were compliant with both outcomes (although two have been told to make improvements to make sure they continue to comply)
  • two locations had moderate concerns with both outcomes
  • no major concerns were found at any of the locations.
  • Specifically, in relation to the care and welfare of people who use services, four locations were compliant, one had minor concerns and five had moderate concerns.
  • In relation to safeguarding, eight locations were compliant and two had moderate concerns.

CQC inspectors were joined by ‘experts by experience’ – people who have first hand experience of care or as a family carer and who can provide the patient or carer perspective as well as professional experts in our learning disability inspections.

You can read the inspection reports, including easy read versions, here>

15 December 2011 - Ten people charged with neglecting and mistreating patients at a private hospital in Hambrook have appeared in court for the first time. The seven men and three women, who are aged between 21 and 58, all worked at Winterbourne View Hospital which was the subject of a BBC Panorama programme in May. They face a total of 40 charges against five victims. No pleas were entered and all 10 were granted bail. They will appear at Bristol Crown Court on February 9.

More here: http://bit.ly/v3vHNi

13 December 2011  - The Department of Health has ordered a probe into the Care Quality Commission following significant criticisms of its leadership from board member Kay Sheldon. Sheldon called for CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower to resign in an outspoken attack on the leadership capability of the organisation, in evidence to the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital public inquiry. Her criticisms included that the CQC board was prevented from effectively scrutinising the work of the management team.

29 November 2011 - A Care Quality Commission board member has called for the resignation of CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower over a failure of leadership at the regulator. Kay Sheldon's call came in a statement to the public inquiry into the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital scandal. More at the Community Care website.

28 November  2011 - Winterbourne View - 10 charged - Ten people have been charged in connection with the ill treatment and neglect of patients at the Winterbourne View hospital near Bristol. The charges come after secret filming by the BBC's Panorama at Winterbourne View, which has since been closed. The 10 people face a total of 40 charges against four patients under the Mental Capacity Act. Seven men and three women, all from the local area, are due to appear before Bristol magistrates on 15 December.

More on the BBC website.

16 September 2011  - Terms of Reference and membership of the CQC's Review of up to 150 learning disability services now available.

1 September  2011 - The CQC are starting preparations for the "programme of inspection of up to 150 learning disability services across the country. The CQC will be inspecting all providers of services comparable to those provided by Winterbourne View. These are institutions that are providing care to people with learning disabilities, challenging behaviour and mental health needs. Their care is funded by the NHS. Once this cycle of inspection is completed we will then move into phase 2 of the programme which will sample a broader range of providers of learning disability services. We will in all of the unannounced inspections be working with experts by experience and professional experts who will join our inspectors as part of the team assessing the providers. We will liaise closely with the PCTs and Local Authorities as well roll out the programme across the country."

17 August  2011 - A third Castlebeck service is to close. Care home provider Castlebeck is to close its Arden Vale hospital in Meriden, Solihull, next week ahead of the conclusion of legal action by regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Castlebeck’s decision comes after the CQC served a legal notice proposing to remove Arden Vale from the company’s registration, which would mean they could no longer provide care at this site. Another Castlebeck service, Rose Villa in Bristol closed the previous week. The CQC report on Arden Vale is available here > The CQC report on Rose Villa is available here >

16 August - The organisers of the letter that 86 people and organisations sent to the Prime Minister have given a warm welcome to his recognising that a ‘joint plan of action is needed ’to improve learning disability services'.  Commenting on the Prime Minister's reply, Rob Greig, Chief Executive at the National Development Team for Inclusion said “It is extremely encouraging to read that the Prime Minister recognises the need for a coordinated national and local plan of action. The issues highlighted through the Panorama programme will not be resolved just by relying upon the goodwill of local people to do things better."  Read the letter sent to the Prime Minister >

8 August - The Prime Minister responds to the letter sent to him by 86 people and organisations who wrote to him in June about the proper response needed to what was seen at Winterbourne View. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, stated that he was “appalled at the horrific catalogue of abuses uncovered at Winterbourne View” in the recent Panorama Programme. Replying to the 86 organisations that wrote to him with a proposed plan of action in response to the issues raised by that abuse, the Prime Minister gave assurances that action is underway to ensure that lessons are learnt. He also stated that “A joint plan of action is needed both locally and nationally to drive improvements in services and determine how the lessons from Winterbourne View can influence future policy and practice”. He concluded by stating that the Government is “committed to taking all necessary action to minimise the chance of such terrible event recurring”.  Read the Prime Minister's response letter > 

2 August - Build for the Future is a group of people with learning disabilities who meet on a regular basis to advise the British Institute of Learning Disabilities about its work. They are drawn from 7 Advocacy organisations: Somerset Advocacy, Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire, Culture Speak Out in Coventry, Taking Part in Shrewsbury and Telford, Options for Life in Oldbury, Our Way in Kidderminster, and Talkback in Buckinghamshire. They have written to Paul Burstow, the Minister for Care Services, about what they thought after viewing the BBC's Panorama programme about Winterbourne View.

1 August - Six weeks later, those 86 people and organisations who joined together to write to the Prime Minister, David Cameron about the proper response needed to what was seen at Winterbourne View have yet to receive a response of any kind. The governments in Scotland and Wales have acknowledged receipt. The Health Inspectorate for Wales has responded, the Cross Party Group on Learning Disabilities in the Scottish Parliament has asked to be added to the original signatories. But from 10 Downing Street - nothing.

31 July - Undercover reporter 'haunted' by abuse of patients Joe Casey spent five weeks filming undercover in a private care hospital on the outskirts of Bristol after getting a job as a support worker. He was shocked by what he witnessed. He explains how this has affected him on the BBC website.

29 July - Hundreds of people with learning disabilities and mental-health problems have been subjected to inhumane and substandard care in hospitals and care homes owned by Castlebeck, the firm at the centre of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal that was exposed in May, reports the Independent newspaper. Evidence of residents being routinely locked in their bedrooms, taunted by staff members and restrained for no good reason was uncovered by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors who visited 23 institutions owned by the company.

28 July - Workers at a hospital near Bristol where alleged abuse was filmed had raised earlier concerns about staff behaviour, the BBC has learned. South Gloucestershire Council said, in response to a Freedom of Information request, 19 concerns about Winterbourne View were raised in five years.

28 July - The Care Quality Commission has published the results of their review of all services run by the Castlebeck Group. They have produced an overview of the review and individual reports for each service. Full details on the CQC website. There is an easy read summary available as well. The report has highlighted 'serious concerns' at 4 Castlebeck homes: Arden Vale in Coventry, Rose Villa in Bristol, Cedar Vale in Nottingham and Croxton Lodge in Melton Mowbray.

18 July - The Care Quality Commission has published its findings following an inspection of services provided at Winterbourne View. After considering a range of evidence inspectors conclude that the registered provider, Castlebeck Care (Teesdale) Ltd, had failed to ensure that people living at Winterbourne View were adequately protected from risk, including the risks of unsafe practices by its own staff.  Read the full report on the CQC website [link no longer working].

15 July - Adult social care services would be inspected at least once a year under Care Quality Commission plans to call time on "light-touch" regulation, reports Community Care. CQC chief executive Cynthia Bower said that the CQC had favoured a "proportionate, risk-based, light-touch" approach to regulation - in which services were left uninspected for up to two years in the absence of issues coming to light - but service users, providers and staff favoured more inspections. However, implementing annual inspections of all health and social care services later this year, as planned, would require the Department of Health acceding to CQC's request for a 10% boost to its budget next year.

14 July - Workers have been suspended from a hospital operated by a company at the centre of a BBC investigation into abuse, reports the BBC. The health watchdog has raised "a number of concerns" about two hospitals operated by Castlebeck. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has visited Arden Vale in the West Midlands and Croxton Lodge in Leicestershire.

12 July - Four staff have been suspended at a Castlebeck-run care home over abuse and misconduct allegations, six weeks after alleged abuse was uncovered at the company's Winterbourne View hospital, the BBC has reported. The latest allegations concern Rose Villa, a nine-bed rehabilitation service for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs in Bristol, the city where the now closed Winterbourne View was also based.

7 July - The "vast majority" of the residents of Winterbourne View have been placed in other learning disability hospitals, despite overwhelming sector opposition to the use of such facilities, says Community Care. The strategic health authority in the area, NHS South West, confirmed that the "vast majority of NHS patients from the South West who were at Winterbourne View have been transferred to other hospitals in England".

4 July - Care Quality Commission registration was ghastly: "When the BBC's Panorama programme exposed abuse at the Winterbourne View hospital in Bristol, I was not at all surprised that the government regulator, the Care Quality Commission, had failed to intervene", says Martin Edwards, chief executive of the children's hospice Julia's House in this article from Third Sector magazine. "When Julia's House sought to register our children's residential hospice care with the CQC in the same region, it was clear that paperwork, rather than any true measure of quality, was paramount".

4 July - BILD receives reply from Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services [link no longer working], to our open letter sent after the broadcasting of the Panorama programme, he says "I would like to assure you that we recognise that the abuse revealed in this programme was completely unacceptable".

29 June - A member of staff at the Care Quality Commission has already been disciplined following the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, reports Community Care magazine. Jo Williams, chair of the CQC, said more staff may yet be disciplined when an internal review into the regulator's handling of the case is completed.

28 June - Parliamentary Select Committee on Health MPs question Dame Jo Williams, Chair of the Care Quality Commission on the role and efficacy of care sector regulator. You can watch a video of the session on Parliament TV.

Dame Jo Williams, the chair of the Care Quality Commission, told MPs that it needs an extra £15m a year to deal with the extra complaints it is receiving following the Panorama documentary about abuse at a care home for vulnerable adults. The commission has 350 staff vacancies, including 121 for inspectors who have the job of investigating complaints. According to the Press Association, Williams told MPs: "We do need more resources. We need an additional 10%."

28 June - Families of learning disabled people allegedly abused at Winterbourne View are to sue Castlebeck, the company that runs the hospital, says a report in Community Care.

22 June - On 21 June, 86 people and organisations who have worked for many years to help people with learning disabilities live their lives as full and equal citizens in our society joined together to write to the Prime Minister, David Cameron about the proper response needed to what was seen at Winterbourne View.
Read the letter to the Prime Minister
Read the Easy Read version of this letter [link no longer working]

There is an article in the Guardian looking at the implications of the issues raised in the letter to the Prime Minister, as they say: "Already it is clear that the programme will come to be seen as a key milestone on the long journey to a civilised system of care and support for this section of society."

looking at the implications of the issues raised in the letter to the Prime Minister, as they say: "Already it is clear that the programme will come to be seen as a key milestone on the long journey to a civilised system of care and support for this section of society."

21 June - Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services, has provided an update today - The Care Quality Commission's review of all registered services (in England) run by Castlebeck Care is due to conclude on 1 July and there will be inquiries into the role of the NHS in relation to the case (as the commissioner of care for those placed at Winterbourne View). The South West Strategic Health Authority is co-ordinating serious incident reviews into the care of all the patients and just finalising terms of reference with the Department of Health, says Community Care magazine.

21 June - The Department of Health is to scrutinise South Gloucestershire Council’s serious case review into the Winterbourne View abuse scandal as part of a wider lesson-learning exercise says the Local Government Chronicle.

Terms of reference published by the department give no timescale for the work, other than that it will only take place after criminal investigations into the conduct of staff at the privately-run hospital. There is an easy read version of these Terms of Reference that can be downloaded.

20 June - Castlebeck, which runs Winterbourne View, announced the hospital would close on 24 June when the last patients would be transferred to alternative services.

17 June - Two nurses from Winterbourne View have been temporarily suspended from the nursing register. The Nursing and Midwifery Council [Link no longer available] said a suspension order lasts 18 months, but can be reviewed periodically. A statement said: "A panel of the investigating committee placed an interim suspension order against the registration of Mr Sookalingum Appoo and Mr Kelvin Fore pending a full investigation into allegations of serious breaches of the NMC code of conduct.

15 June - The Care Quality Commission (CQC) ceased inspecting independent learning disability hospitals, such as Winterbourne View, for four months last winter. Figures obtained by Community Care show that no inspections of this type of provision were conducted between 1 October 2010 and 31 January 2011, only a year after the CQC published a report highlighting poor practice in specialist health services for people with learning disabilities, in which it pledged to regularly monitor providers.

13 June - Paul Burstow, Minister for Care Services provides written answers [Link no longer available] to range of questions about Winterbourne View asked by Fabian Hamilton, MP.

13 June - The mother of Simon Tovey, one of the residents of Winterbourne View seen being abused, has spoken of her shock at finding out what her son had inflicted on him.

10 June - It was announced that an adult protection expert had been appointed to chair the serious case review (SCR) into the abuse uncovered at the Bristol-based private learning disability hospital, run by Castlebeck said Community Care magazine, which gives more detail on the areas the review is likely to look into.

Margaret Flynn will oversee the examination into what lessons can be learned from agencies' failure to prevent the abuse, which was exposed in a BBC Panorama programme last week. The SCR has been commissioned by South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board.

9 June - Two more people have been arrested in connection with the alleged abuse of vulnerable adults filmed by Panorama at Winterbourne View. This brings the toal of those arrested to 11. Police investigating the matter confirmed a further two men, aged 26 and 32, had been arrested and bailed.

Jack Lopresti, the hospital's local MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, has now called for the care home to be closed and for an independent review into what led to the failures in patient care.

8 June - Police arrest five more people in relation to the Winterbourne View abuse enquiry, bringing the total arrested to nine. Community Care reports that "All nine - six men and three women - have been arrested on suspicion of assault or mistreatment of people under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and released on police bail, pending further enquiries."

8 June - Report of a brief exchange in answer to a question in the House of Lords about Winterbourne View.

7 June - Parliament's first discussion of the issues around Winterbourne View. Paul Burstow MP, the Minister for Care Services, answered questions in the House of Commons about the treatment of people with learning disabilities and autism highlighted by the Panorama programme last Tuesday.

Paul Burstow confirmed that the government had not ruled out an independent inquiry into the abuse but any decision on this would await the conclusion of the criminal investigation.

The full Hansard report is now available.

You can also watch the questions and the Minister's replied on Parliament TV.

7 June - Ed Milliband MP, Leader of the Opposition called for an independent inquiry into the treatment of people at Winterbourne View.

7 June - Dame Jo Williams, chair of the Care Quality commission, pledges rethink of residential care for people with learning difficulties following exposé of abuse at Bristol hospital in an interview in the Guardian newspaper.

3 June - BBC reports that The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has 283 unfilled posts in its workforce, including inspectors whose job it is to ensure care homes meet standards. It blamed a recruitment freeze imposed by the Government last year - but the Department of Health said it relaxed the curb in February.

1 June - Several learning disability hospitals are to face unannounced inspections after abuse was uncovered at one unit by BBC's Panorama programme. The Care Quality Commission said care services minister Paul Burstow had accepted a proposal from the regulator for a "programme of risk-based and random unannounced inspections of a sample of the 150 hospitals providing care for people with learning disabilities".

1 June - Police arrest and bail four members of staff at Winterbourne View; Castlebeck has now suspended two members of managerial staff and eleven frontline staff while investigating their conduct. The company has also commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake a thorough review of the medical procedures, culture and communications across the entire company. Meanwhile, the Care Quality Commission has taken steps to stop any new admissions to the hospital and is reviewing its own response to the allegations, which the CQC were informed about in December last year.


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The Reaction to the programme


"There is no place for hospitals such as Winterbourne View - the provision of learning disability hospitals is wrong."

On 21 June, 86 people and organisations who have worked for many years to help people with learning disabilities  live their lives as full and equal citizens in our society joined together to write to the Prime Minister, David Cameron about the proper response needed to what was seen at Winterbourne View.

As the letter points out: 'We are aware of the various actions currently being taken within and outside government – such as the DH review and CQC internal inquiry. We hope to make submissions to those both individually and collectively. However, on their own these will not be enough and a clear programme is needed to achieve change.

We were encouraged to hear that you had shown a personal interest in this issue and we urge those with the power and authority to help prevent further such abuse to take note and implement these actions.

We wish to emphasise five important points:

  • Our proposals are based on the evidence of what works in public services – knowledge that has been the basis of the policy of successive governments. Those policies just need to be implemented.
  • One element of this is that there is no place for hospitals such as Winterbourne View. Beyond a very small number of beds integrated with other local services for short-term assessment and treatment and a small number of others linked to forensic needs, the provision of learning disability hospitals is wrong. The model does not work and should be made unnecessary by competent local services. The only way forward is a planned and properly supported programme of work to replace existing hospitals with proper individualised, evidence based services and supports that are integrated as far as possible into local communities.
  • There is a wide consensus across the learning disability field about how to respond to the issues identified by Panorama. Our proposals are not contentious in the field, having been endorsed by a very broad range of people and organisations, including representatives of people with learning disabilities and family carers.
  • Whilst the organisations that particularly failed in allowing the abuse at Winterbourne View should be held to account for their failures, (the provider, the regulator and the various commissioners), focusing only on them would be a mistake. The underpinning issue is one of the overall service and system design – hence the need for Government to take a lead. Without the type of actions we suggest below, there is a very real risk of similar things happening again, elsewhere.
  • Whilst this abuse took place in England, under English policy, similar services exist in the other countries of the UK. We are therefore also copying this letter to the relevant Ministers and officials in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (our signatories come from all four countries).'


Read the letter to the Prime Minister

Read the Easy Read version of this letter

BILD's first reaction to the Panorama programme was published in Society Guardian. The next day we wrote an open letter to Paul Burstow MP, the Minister for Care Services,you can read or download a copy of this letter.  We have also set out the ways in which organisations can begin to avoid such abuses by adopting a human rights-based approach to their support and taking workforce development programmes seriously. BILD has also written an article for Community Care magazine,  'Avoiding another Winterbourne: Getting training right', written by BILD's Workforce development manager, Lesley Barcham and Qualifications manager, Jackie Pountney.

Professor Jim Mansell - who featured in the Panorama programme - gave his reaction in an article 'Bristol care home: a failure on every level'.

Reflecting the scale of the shock and outrage, and determination to do all possible to stop this treatment from happening, there were comments and statements from a range of individuals and organisations, among them:

Following the Panorama programme, the Learning Disability Coalition created an online petition which calls on MP's to ensure that the human rights of people with a learning disability are at the heart of the forthcoming social care white paper. You can take this e-action by clicking on this link

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Links to more information

The reports into Winterbourne View by the Healthcare Commission and Mental Health Act Commission (both now amalgamated into the Care Quality Commission (CQC)) and the report by the CQC of January of this year can be downloaded from this section of the CQC website.

The UK Human Rights Blog has looked at the issues raised by this case from the human rights perspective.

Andy McDonnell, the expert who appeared in the Panorama programme commenting on the abuse he was witnessing on film has written 'The impact of the panorama documentary 'Undercover care the abuse exposed': A personal perspective'.

The National Family Carer Network have produced a list of questions family carers may wish to ask at their local Partnership Boards - where the NHS commissioners from your local Primary Care Trust should be represented - and which also explains what to do if you do not get satisfactory answers.

BILD has received a letter from the Australian Psychological Society expressing their shock at what they witnessed in the Panorama programme about Winterbourne View and urging 'appropriate action that will continue to profile such atrocities committed against people with disability that will result in appropriate consequences for service providers, and ultimately the reform of practice and service provision'. They themselves have recently issued a new set of practice guidelines, 'Evidence-based guidelines to reduce the need for restrictive practices in the disability sector'. 


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