Three Bristol social workers accused of mishandling the care of a
man with mental health problems have been cleared by an internal
The social workers and a consultant psychiatrist were accused of
failing in their duty to 64-year-old Selburn Watson in a report
published in March 2003 by Bristol Council’s department of social
services and health.
Director Bill McKitterick said of the inquiry findings: “It is
clear that Bristol social services did not serve Mr Watson well and
the service failed him and his family.
“However, the staff namedÉwere not personally to blame and
have received a full apology. The three staff are fully supported
by the council and myself in this very difficult and complex area
The earlier report had accused the social workers of being guilty
of malpractice (news, 13 May, 2003). It found that Watson had been
unfairly treated and had had his human rights disregarded over
several months in 2001, while social services tried to have him
admitted to a secure hospital.