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Sickening abuse at care homes revealed by Panorama

Care industry under fire as vulnerable adults treated appallingly at Castlebeck care unit

Photo of Winterbourne patient: BBC

1 June 2011

In a week that has seen the publication of critical inspection reports relating to the care that the elderly receive in hospitals, the care that the most vulnerable people in our society receive is high on the news agenda.  Investigative documentary programme Panorama last night broadcast a programme, Undercover care: The Abuse Exposed - the truth about carers out of control, that exposed shocking levels of abuse at a private hospital, Winterbourne View, receiving public funds to care for vulnerable people with learning difficulties. The Bristol police have arrested four people after secret filming by an undercover journalist found a pattern of serious abuse. The hospital's owners and of Britain’s leading care companies, Castlebeck, has apologised unreservedly and suspended 13 employees. The Care Quality Commission has also apologised for failing to respond to complaints about the unit.

Appalling treatment of vulnerable residents

The abuse meted out by care workers at the unit was appalling.  Residents were slapped, kicked, knocked over and pinned to the floor and drenched with cold water. In one particularly disturbing scene a male care worker seemed to encourage a female patient to throw herself out of a second-floor window.

Claims on behalf of those who have suffered abuse

Leigh Day has extensive experience in bringing claims for vulnerable people seeking compensation following physical or mental abuse.  We act for adults abused as children in children's homes or foster care placements - and also children currently in placements. We act for the learning disabled and the mentally ill who have suffered abuse at the hands of their carers or clinicians. The human rights department has also represented a number of learning disabled people who have received inadequate or substandard care from the NHS or social services.  Leigh Day & Co supported and is working with Mencap in its campaign to raise the standards of care offered to learning disabled adults who have communication problems.

If you would like to speak to someone about a possible claim for compensation on behalf of a family member who has been abused in care please contact Alison Millar on 020 7650 1241 for a free initial consultation.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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