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Minister: abuse is

A government health minister has said that abuse at places like Winterbourne View is a “national scandal”.

Norman Lamb, the Care Minister, was responding to an urgent question from Shadow Care Minster Liz Kendall following the airing of the Panorama programme “The Hospital that Stopped Caring”.

Mr Lamb said: "What has been exposed by Panorama is utterly intolerable and has to come to an end.

"I am absolutely determined when I make the final response for the government by the end of November that it will be robust and clear and that everyone understands what has to happen.

"Years and years of public money being spent on putting people into inappropriate settings, often putting them at risk of abuse - this is a national scandal and it has to end."

Mr Lamb had faced questions from a number of MPs.

Shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall said: "There remain serious concerns about whether the government has taken all necessary steps to ensure the former patients of Winterbourne View are now receiving safe and effective care.

"Last night's Panorama programme revealed 19 patients have been subject to safeguarding alerts since leaving Winterbourne View.

"Not all of these alerts mean someone has been harmed but Panorama says one was an incident of assault and another has resulted in a criminal investigation.”

Ms Kendall also asked about the effectiveness of the CQC, the regulatory body which inspects institutions such as Winterbourne View.

Other MPs asked a range of questions, about issues such as the training of staff, the role of Local Authorities, and the viability of closing Assessment and Treatment Centres down.

For more information, or to watch a video of the debate, click here.

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