Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Castlebeck goes into administration

Castlebeck, the learning disability residential care provider that operated the Winterbourne View hospital where an abuse scandal was uncovered in 2011, has gone into administration.

Administrator Grant Thornton was brought in on March 5 to Darlington-based Castlebeck with the aim of selling its units individually as going concerns.

Castlebeck operates independent hospital assessment, treatment/rehabilitation and residential care units for people with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues from 20 sites located in the Midlands, Northeast of England and Scotland with a combined occupancy of 214 patients and residents.

All residents will continue to receive care and treatment as normal during the administration process.

Castlebeck made headlines after a 2011 BBC Panorama investigation uncovered abuse at its Winterbourne View hospital near Bristol. The hospital was closed soon after the programme was broadcast.

Last year, 11 people were convicted of 38 charges of abuse against residents of Winterbourne View hospital. Of those 11, 6 received custodial sentences.

Daniel Smith, a partner at Grant Thornton, explained that since the Winterbourne View scandal the company had undertook a root and branch internal review of its operations. This led to changes in corporate and operating governance together with compliance and regulatory improvements to ensure appropriate quality care provision to its patients and residents. 

“Whilst the board has focused on quality care provision and restoring confidence in the Castlebeck operations, the impact of two further unit closures in 2011 and reducing occupancy has significantly diluted Castlebeck’s subsequent trading capabilities,” Smith said. 

“Following recent sales of its MHC and Young Foundations divisional operations, the board has considered a number of strategic options for its Castlebeck operations including a sale process. With a sale of the entire business to one purchaser unlikely to be achieved in the short-term, the board has… accordingly appointed ourselves as administrators.

“A number of prospective purchasers have already shown their interest in acquiring the individual Castlebeck operating units, which will continue to operate and trade normally whilst such sales are progressed, and new owners for the operating units emerge.

“Grant Thornton will work with Castlebeck’s management and staff on operational and financial aspects of the care businesses to deliver a seamless continuation of patient care in full compliance with corporate and operating governance.”  

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