No evidence found in abuse investigation

A 19-month investigation into allegations of
sexual abuse at a south east London home for children with learning
difficulties has found no evidence that any young person suffered
harm or abuse.

The independent investigation, led by the
NSPCC and involving the police and social services, was
commissioned by the London Borough of Bromley and Bromley Primary
Care NHS Trust following allegations against staff at the jointly
run Betts Way respite care unit in 1998-9.

The report on one of the largest and most
complex investigations involving young people with learning
difficulties in the UK found no evidence of abuse or of widespread
poor practice that would have resulted in a culture of
institutionalised risk for the children.

The council and NHS trust have agreed to
implement recommendations made by the inquiry team that will
strengthen best practice in the service, including a review of
policies at the home and the publication of guidance on the use of
agency staff, training needs and information for parents.

Because of the investigation, Betts Way has
been closed since March 2000, but is expected to re-open in the
future, although a date has yet to be set.

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