A report on the serious failures of winterbourne view

Winterbourne View, and the company Castle Beck Care LTD, failed to protect the individuals in their care from various types of abuse. They were not protected adequately from harm, risk and the own unsafe practices of the staff employed there. Staff at Winterbourne View had failed in their legal duty to notify the Quality Care Commission of serious incidents, including injuries to patients and occasions when they had gone missing.

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Ten essential standards, which the law requires providers to meet and Winterbourne View did not include; The managers did not ensure that major incidents were reported to the CQC as required. Planning and delivery of care did not meet people’s individual needs. They did not have robust systems to assess and monitor the quality of services. They did not identify and manage risks relating to the health, welfare and safety of patients. They had not responded to or considered complaints and views of people about the service. Investigations into the conduct of staff were not robust and had not safeguarded people. They did not take reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent it before it occurred. They did not respond appropriately to allegations of abuse. They did not have arrangements in place to protect the people against unlawful or excessive use of restraint. They did not operate effective recruitment procedures or take appropriate steps in relation to persons who were not fit to work in care settings. They failed in their responsibilities to provide appropriate training and supervision to staff.

The CQC report concluded that there were systemic failures in protecting people or to investigate allegations of abuse. Footage used in prosecutions showed member of staff repeatedly assaulting and harshly restraining patients under chairs, giving patients cold punishment showers, with one patient being left out in near zero temperatures and another having mouthwash poured in their eyes. Members of staff also pulled hair, poked people in the eyes, force fed medication and mocked patients to the extent one actually tried to escape through a second floor window to escape the torment.

These are all massive failings of the staff and the company to provide a safe and secure environment for its service users. The CQC was also guilty of failing to investigate claims thoroughly.

The case of Winterbourne View and the coverage that Panorama aired on television shocked the nation. Undoubtedly making a lot of people question the capability of the CQC as well as their local homes / services, where family members or friends may visit or live. The CQC held an internal inquiry and as a result there were many changes to various organisations. Winterbourne view inevitably closed and eleven people plead guilty to criminal offences of neglect or abuse. Six of which were jailed.

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