Action following Panorama
In May 2011, the BBC programme “Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed” showed systematic and pervasive abuse of people with learning disabilities taking place at Winterbourne View hospital. Eleven employees from Winterbourne View were sentenced and the BBC broadcast a follow up documentary in October 2012. The programme rightly caused universal outrage and led to a range of actions, reviews and investigations.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out 150 unannounced visits on services for people with learning disabilities, focussing on two outcome measures: the care and welfare of the individual using the service, and safeguarding people in the service from abuse. They published a national report (Learning Disability Review) stating that almost half of these services did not comply with CQC minimum standards.
Following this, the Public Health Observatory published a report (A Review of the Results of the 2011/2012 Focused CQC Inspections of Services for People with Learning Disabilities) analysing the data collected by the CQC, stating that only 14% of individuals living in assessment and treatment units were in services that fully complied with both outcome measures.
South Gloucestershire’s multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) published an independent Serious Case Review into the events at the Winterbourne View private hospital and NHS South of England published a Review into Commissioning of Care and Treatment at Winterbourne View.
All of this information was considered by an independent review team at the Department of Health. They published the Winterbourne View Hospital - Interim Report, which set out proposed actions and solutions, based on the findings of the CQC summary report and other evidence from the engagement with key partners.
In December 2012, the Department of Health published a final report into the events at Winterbourne View (Transforming Care: A National Response to Winterbourne View Hospital - Final Report), setting out a programme of action to transform services. This was backed by a concordat, signed by over 50 partners, stating the changes that will be delivered and the timeframe these will be delivered in.
Finally, in January 2013, the NHS Commissioning Board, working with the Local Government Association established the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Board. The Board is chaired by Chris Bull and will provide leadership and support to transform services locally. It will work to ensure the implementation of the commitments identified in the Department of Health’s final report and concordat, and support the delivery of real change in this area.
Further Information and Support
The CBF would like to offer support to families who have been affected by the issues raised in the programme. You can call our Family Support Line on 0845 602 7885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download our Support for families information sheet which includes organisations providing independent support