To mark the anniversary of the Panorama programme on the former Winterbourne View residential hospital, charities Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) are calling for the Government to lead a move away from institutional care for people with learning disabilities to a more locally-based mode (31st May 2012).
On May 31, 2011 the Panorama programme was broadcast. Using secret cameras, an undercover reporter gained employment at the Castlebeck-run Winterbourne View and captured a culture in which residents were routinely taunted, kicked, slapped and pinned down by staff members. In the wake of the broadcast, Winterbourne View was closed, and 11 staff members were arrested and charged with arange of offences. Nine have since admitted their guilt, while the remaining 2 will stand trial later in the summer. Additionally, regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) responded by undertaking a series of 150 unannounced inspections of care services for people with learning disabilities. All the inspection reports have now been published and revealed that more than 50% of the 150 hospitals and care homes inspected failed to meet essential standards around care and welfare and protecting adults from abuse, according to Mencap.
"These reports demonstrate a strong justification for moving away from institutional care, towards developing local services for local people," said Dan Scorer, Mencap's senior campaigns and policy manager. "The Department ofHealth's interim review is coming out shortly. This will be based on the findings of the CQC and other evidence it has collected. It will set out proposed actions and solutions. It is crucial that these are strong enough to lead to real change on the ground for people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges."
On May 27, Panorama won a BAFTA for its Winterbourne View programme. "
The film goes out - but a year later we're still waiting for the court case and to see what changes the Government will bring in," said Joe Plomin from the Panorama team."
We're very much monitoring what's happening… Panorama's watching."
Mencap and the CBF are campaigning for change, to ensure that abuse that happened at Winterbourne View never happens again.
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