Specialist healthcare services provider Castlebeck has announced a new action plan aimed at avoiding a repeat of the failures that caused the closure of its former facility at Winterbourne View.

Key elements of the action plan include an overhaul of the management structure of the business, increased investment in staff and staff training, improved whistle-blowing policies and new activities programmes for residents. Castlebeck is already implementing the action plan at its 20 facilities, and the company has appointed a new director of nursing, group medical director and group head of governance.

The plan includes recommendations by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which conducted a review of Castlebeck, at the request of the company's non-executive directors, following the Panorama programme on Winterbourne View, which exposed alleged abuse of residents by care staff.

Castlebeck's chief executive Lee Read said: "Major improvements have been made at Castlebeck and resources are being committed to ensuring that consistently high standards of care are once again delivered to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We have taken decisive and swift action where necessary, and this involved closing three of our facilities, including Winterbourne View. "The action plan… gives us a formal framework for change that will significantly raise standards across Castlebeck and embed them in the culture of the organisation. While most of our facilities have always provided good standards of care, as the CQC [Care Quality Commission] has acknowledged, deficiencies in our organisation meant that a small number were allowed to fall badly short." Read also assured service users that they can expect "high standards" in all Castlebeck facilities, and apologised for "past incidences where services had not the standards that they [users] and their families expect and deserve."

Read Learning Disability Today editor Dan Parton's blog on learning the lessons from Winterbourne View. A full version of Castlebeck's change programme is available at www.castlebeck.com