Eight years on from Winterbourne View- Ann's thoughts

Eight years on from the Winterbourne View scandal and following last night’s BBC Panorama programme showing abuse at Whorlton Hall, family carer Ann gives us her thoughts.


Eight years on from the gates closing on Winterbourne View and one of my strongest feelings is betrayal, not just of Simon for the now well-documented abuse, physical and emotional, the degradation and the appalling bewilderment he must have felt but for those 2,000 plus people STILL locked up in ATU's. The very same units that the government, the NHS and various others vowed to close.


At least I can sleep at night knowing that Simon has the very best care, loving care. Yes, many of his staff love Simon, they have nearly twenty years of history with him. He has seen their families grow up, they have known him for those twenty years. Others don't have that luxury and I never dreamt after all this time that there would still be some left behind in these appalling places.


Transforming Care was brought out as a shining example, it was well- funded and well-intentioned but has failed miserably to meet its own deadline. Think back on the last 8 years of your life, how much has happened, how much has changed but for those 2,000 and their families nothing has changed.


It's a shocking betrayal of hope for families, hope that finally things might change and their loved ones be returned to some semblance of normality, some semblance of humanity. Families exhausted, driven to despair by the knowledge that nothing has altered nor is it now likely to.


The system is broken beyond repair, no amount of money can change it, it needs replacing. Not a system dreamt up by professionals but a system that responds reflexively and holistically to the needs of individuals because that's what they are. These people are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and loved ones not numbers.


By Ann Earley

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