Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
County health professionals examine fallout from Winterbourne House abuse
ENSURING nothing like the Winterbourne View abuse scandal ever happens in Worcester was top of the agenda at a special event for local health professionals.
The care home, near Bristol, closed in 2011, shortly after an investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme uncovered a regime of systematic abuse of its residents. Three people from Worcestershire were there at the time of the investigation.
As they examined the fallout from the shocking case, health delegates from across the county pledged to do everything in their power to prevent such things happening again when they gathered for a conference at Worcester’s Sixways stadium.
The key speaker at the event was Margaret Flynn, the author of the serious case review into Winterbourne View. Quoting from poet Seamus Heaney, she told delegates: “We must learn from these lessons, because we failed them by our disregard.”
She added: “The inattention to people's health care was shocking and there was a phenomenal turnover of staff. Some people left after doing a single shift.”
The conference was organised by Worcestershire County Council, whose director of adult and community services, Eddie Clarke, said: “Shame is not enough. If everyone in this room agrees to do something about it then we will be in a far better place to ensure people in Worcestershire get the quality of life they are entitled to.”
Since the scandal the council has put “robust protocols” in place to ensure all patient placements are reviewed on a regular basis and that all residential care premises are properly inspected.
Sarah Edwards, from the council’s joint commissioning unit, said that only two people from the county are now in assessment units similar to Winterbourne View.
“People do not need hospitals but a place where they can be happy, comfortable and feel safe and secure, and this place needed to be as near to home as possible,” she added.
Before leaving the conference, all delegates were asked to make personal pledges to prevent abuse happening again.
Anyone who suspects abuse is taking place should report it by calling 0845 6072000.