People with learning disabilities who allegedly suffered abuse while in the care of the former Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust are to receive about £8 million in compensation following a High Court ruling.
The agreement relates to claims involving allegations of abuse suffered by individuals living under the care of the trust up to 2006. The allegations included physical assault, emotional and verbal abuse, and a failure to provide adequate programmes of care and assessment.
The money will be shared among 165 claimants. The total includes a £1.45 million settlement in relation to allegations of financial abuse, which was agreed earlier this year.
“The services provided by our predecessor, Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust did not reach the level of care, protection or standards we expect," said Philip Confue, acting chief executive of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. "We cannot undo the things which happened, but providing financial compensation is part of our commitment to putting things right. “Since 2006, we have done a great deal to improve the services provided in Cornwall for people with a learning disability." Confue added that this payout will not affect the provision or delivery of the services that trust provides.
Andrew Hannam of Foot Anstey LLP, one of the law firms that represented the claimants, said: “Once again this case has highlighted the position of responsibility and authority held by public bodies for the care of some of the most vulnerable adults in our society, and the need for consistent and sufficient regulation. Although the compensation cannot alter what an individual has suffered in the past, it can go some way to making their life in the present more comfortable.”
Richard Scrase of fellow law firm Follett Stock LLP added: “It is now vitally important that lessons are learnt from this case and that, given recent revelations concerning care provided by private organisations, a comprehensive review of care for adults with learning disabilities is undertaken.”