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Care Home Was "Worse" than Whistleblower Said

July 19 – A damning report on the Bristol care home exposed by a television programme has said it failed in many different ways. Managers at the Winterbourne View care home were accused of failing to report major incidents to the regulators, the Care Quality Commission.

The home was closed by the commission last month following revelations by the Panorama programme, which was tipped off by a nurse who had worked there and sent in an undercover reporter. The commission was accused of ignoring reports from whistleblowers – but says the reports it received unwittingly understated the extent of the problem.

Its report published yesterday says the care home owners, Castlebeck Ltd(Teesdale) failed to respond to complaints and did not take “reasonable steps” to prevent abuse of residents. There were no procedures to prevent unlawful and excessive use of restraints – and they failed to use effective recruitment procedures, it says. The commission says it may still take further action against the care home owner.

Amanda Sherlock, of the Commission, said: “This report is a damning indictment of the regime at Winterbourne View and its systemic failings to protect the vulnerable people in its care. It is now clear that the problems at Winterbourne View were far worse than were initially indicated by the whistleblower. He has stated that he was not aware of the level of abuse until he saw the footage from the secret filming. We now know that the provider had effectively misled us by not keeping us informed about incidents as required by the law. Had we been told about all these things, we could have taken action earlier.”

Castlebeck has said it was “shocked” by the events in its home and has commissioned consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an independent review.

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