Community Care
  • Click to see all the latest social work and social care jobs

Winterborne View abuse is unlikely to be the only case

“There is a history of abuse scandals thathave been made public, such as those in Sutton and Merton, and Cornwall in2007″ said Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive, responding to today’sstory about abuse uncovered by the BBC at a long stay hospital.

“Institutional care means that quite often people with a learningdisability live far away from friends and family who care for them, so there isno one to notice any disturbing behaviour,” he added.

However, last April the Department of Health revealed that just this kind ofprovision was still on the rise.It raised concernthen, because the government was pursuing a policy of moving peopleout NHS campus’.


What weare doing is exchanging one group of people in an outdated setting for anothergroup of people in an outdated setting,” saidJames Churchill, then chief executive of the Association for Real Change.

That was then, now is worse. Earlier this year thegovernment disbandedits central learning disability leadership team. That’s the team whichfound there was increased use of these facilities, which is against the thrustof government policy.

It’s not terribly clear how that will continue.Without knowing what’s going on in the sector or with a dedicated team to leadchange people are right to be scepticalabout what improvements can really be achieved.

I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg.

, , , , ,

2 Responses to Winterborne View abuse is unlikely to be the only case

  1. Agency Nurse RGN 12 April , 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Although i cannot comment on LD care homes i have a vast experience of elderly and EMI care homes – as an Agency Nurse i am in and out of different care homes on a daily basis. Whilst i agree that this is probably not an isolated case i wholeheartedly believe that it is not widespread and have first hand experience that this is the case. Since the advent of the care standards and an increased awareness of abuse and how to report it the majority of care homes arereaching high standard. They are run by caring staff who have a real understanding and empathy for the vulnerable people they care for.

  2. Innerstrength - student social worker 12 April , 2013 at 2:51 am #

    I work part-time as a care assistant for a nursing agency. This involves working in numerous care homes for older people. The staffing was too low to provide the standard of care needed for older people with complex needs. EMI units were completely chaotic, providing task-centred care where basic needs were met but meaningful human interactions were impossible to complete as standard. Some examples are: One EMI home had no basic toiletries in any of the bathrooms (not even a bar of soap, perfume, deodorant, toothbrush – cleaning materials for false teeth. Another lined the older people up in the corridor (10 in wheelchairs) used the same hair brush on all the ladies whilst waiting to take them down in the lift to the sitting room. This took over an hour. This same home refused to let any of the ladies wear pads in bed because they were provided with kyles (bed sheet – can you imagine how you would feel in this position?). One service-user became really distressed at the thought of ‘wetting her bed’ – the nurse in charge actually counted the pads used during the night (this was overcome by keeping some hidden!)…cost or misuse of power? Another left only two members of staff on duty to provide overnight care to over 34 EMI residents (most were not very mobile – all needed to be prepared for and taken to bed. I shall spare you the details of the hourly pad changes and what was under some of the residents finger nails. I asked one member of staff why she worked in these conditions when it is impossible to provide the level of care needed and her reply was ‘they need me’ …………. most of the homes start getting the residents up from 5am – to keep the day staff happy. Neglect is as bad as abuse. something needs to be done about the way these homes are inspected and run.