Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed

Watch this on the BBC: "Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed". And then reflect on the failings of the Care Quality Commission in this case* and whether they could detect or act to investigate any similar case in the future**:
"A specialist residential hospital in Bristol is being investigated by police after secret filming by BBC Panorama found a pattern of serious abuse.

"During five weeks spent filming undercover, Panorama's reporter captured footage of some of the hospital's most vulnerable patients being repeatedly pinned down, slapped, dragged into showers while fully clothed, taunted and teased.

"The programme decided to secret film after being approached by a former senior nurse at the hospital who was deeply concerned about the behaviour of some of the support workers caring for patients.

"Mr Bryan reported his concerns to both management at Winterbourne View and to the government regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) but his complaint was not taken up.
Ian Biggs, regional direction of the CQC for the southwest, said an opportunity to prevent abuse was missed when Mr Bryan's complaints were not investigated."
* Headed by the former chief executive of West Midlands strategic health authority (SHA) who presided over the Mid Staffordshire scandal lest we forget, so she has relevant expertise in this area!

** Still, at least the unit concerned probably had policies for dealing with dog mess, so it can't have been all bad as far as the CQC are concerned.


The Shrink said...

I visit a lot of care homes, with demented vulnerable adults. I'd wager good coin abuse happens in some homes.

Some have been reported to the PCT, Local Authority and CQC, naught happened.

Care Workers aren't regulated so can skip from one home to another, continuing their idiosyncratic practice/malign care/abuse without sanction.

That needs fixing.

pj said...

I've also visited quite a few care homes and residential units and I've often felt that neglect was quite widespread (and reporting concerns seems to have minimal effect) but I've never suspected systematic abuse on this scale. It was the Stanford prison experiment writ large.

With the deprofessionalisation of healthcare (particularly in mental health and learning disabilities) this lack of accountability of the workforce can only get worse.

I was genuinely shocked to see how the abuse was pretty much institutional, we didn't see management and hardly saw nursing staff, but the way this went on openly and with impunity suggests everyone knew what was going on. Of coursen if this had been the NHS, the whistleblower would have been hounded out and reported to the NMC.