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”.
The announcement comes after Panorama uncovered serious abuse at Winterbourne View, a private hospital for people with learning disabilities in Bristol, run by Castlebeck. This included residents being repeatedly pinned down, slapped, dragged into showers while fully clothed and taunted.
Police have reportedly arrested four people in relation to the findings, while Castlebeck has apologised, suspended 13 employees and commissioned consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake “a thorough independent review of the company”.
CQC admitted it had made mistakes in its handling of the case after it was alerted to the conditions at Winterbourne View by a whistleblower in December 2010.
“Following an internal review, we recognise that there were indications of problems at this hospital which should have led to us taking action sooner,” said a spokesperson.
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