Inquiry launched into care home abuse case following collapse of police prosecution

Adult protection expert Margaret Flynn to lead year-long probe into alleged abuse of 103 residents in homes in South Wales

An independent inquiry has been launched to learn lessons from the alleged abuse of 103 people in care homes in South Wales, following the collapse of a police prosecution.

Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones yesterday appointed adult protection expert Margaret Flynn – author of the Winterbourne View serious case review – to lead the review into the allegations, which date back to 2001.

Three care staff were convicted of wilful neglect in 2008 and then charges were sought against the owner of the homes for manslaughter by gross negligence or wilful neglect, but there was insufficient evidence to pursue prosecution.

Following this, a health and safety prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive against the owner and chief executive of the homes. But the prosecution collapsed earlier this year after one of the defendants was attacked in an unrelated assault and declared unfit to stand trial.

Jones said the prosecution could be resumed if his condition improves. But the first minister added: “I believe that we need a full and independent review of these events to understand whether there is anything else the social care sector and policy makers need to learn, anything else we need to put in place.”

The review is due to report by the end of 2014.

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