The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has announced learning disability residential services provider Castlebeck – which ran the former Winterbourne View hospital – will no longer sponsor RCN Publishing’s 2013 Learning Disability Nursing Award.

RCN Publishing accepted sponsorship from Castlebeck in September based on what it saw as substantial developments within the company since the Panorama expose of Winterbourne View, shown in May 2011.

But the strong adverse reaction from many learning disability nurses across the country led to RCN Publishing withdrawing from the sponsorship arrangement.

In a statement, the RCN said: “The RCN supports the decision of RCN Publishing to withdraw from its sponsorship arrangement with Castlebeck, due to the strong feelings of some members, including the whistleblower Terry Bryan, given the serious crimes committed against vulnerable residents at Winterbourne View.”

While RCN Publishing is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RCN, it is editorially independent.

In response, Castlebeck issued a statement expressing the company’s “deep regret” at being withdrawn as an award sponsor.

“The new board and management team [of Castlebeck] remain committed to supporting and promoting the highest standards of care in our own operations and across the sector as a whole. The latest Panorama programme is a painful reminder that the NHS, independent and private sectors as well as all the agencies involved have much to do,” the statement continued.

“The best service we can all do for service users and their families is to recognise and salute the importance of the quality of leadership there is and must be in learning disability nurses.”