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Care minister: Change after scandal 'unacceptably slow'

Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb said the Winterbourne View scandal was "a wake up call" but that progress to bring about change "has been unacceptably slow."

The Lib Dem MP said: "I want to see a real change of pace in the next few months to move people out of institutions where appropriate, and, with the right support, back into the community. NHS England has been tasked to develop a clear plan to move things forward quickly."

File image of the Winterbourne View residential hospital. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Mr Lamb's comments came after families of Winterbourne View Hospital abuse victims accused the Government, NHS and local authorities of an "appalling failure" over the rehousing of vulnerable people with disabilities.

Complaints have been made that some families are having to travel hundreds of miles to the units where their children have been housed.

Govt accused of 'appalling failure' over care promises

Families of Winterbourne View Hospital abuse victims have accused the Government, NHS and local authorities of an "appalling failure" over the rehousing of vulnerable people with disabilities.

They said there has been a "betrayal" of people at risk of abuse and neglect after ministers claimed the care of around 3,000 people with learning disabilities and autism should be reviewed in light of the Winterbourne View scandal three years ago.

General view of the Winterbourne View residential hospital. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The families wrote in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, "The time for talking and excuses is over. The Prime Minister must take personal responsibility and address this failure of national government, local government and the NHS."

Undercover filming by BBC's Panorama showed a pattern of serious abuse at the private hospital near Bristol and six workers were later jailed for ill-treatment and neglect.


Age UK welcomes plan for compulsory care training

The charity Age UK wants the enforced care worker training to teach staff how to notify authorities about suspected abuse or the poor treatment of the elderly by colleagues.

We also need to make sure that staff with the right values are recruited into caring roles and that they remain supported by a system that values and rewards the important work they do.

– Age UK's Michelle Mitchell

The push for training comes after a series of scandals in which elderly and disabled adults have been mistreated in NHS hospitals and private care homes.

Lamb demands 'clear standards' for care home training

Health Minister Norman Lambhas told The Daily Telegraph it is not acceptable that there are no “clear standards of the training that must happen in a care home”.

He told the newspaper:

I would not want a loved one of mine - or indeed myself - to be cared for by someone who has no training.

Criminal prosecutions must follow in the "most outrageous" cases of abuse but reforms are needed to improve the quality of care more widely in nursing homes and in pensioners' own homes, he said.

The Liberal Democrat minister said the new regime must not create “a tick box” culture, adding: “But the bottom line is, I don’t want a loved one being looked after by someone who has really no idea what they are doing.”

Report: Compulsory training for care home staff

National minimum standards are expected to be created to protect nursing home residents. Credit: ITV News

Care home staff will be made to undergo compulsory training under Government plans to protect the elderly in the wake of a number of high-profile scandals, The Daily Telegraph has reported.

Health Minister Norman Lamb told the newspaper the lack of basic requirements for training care workers was leaving pensioners in the hands of staff who have "no idea what they are doing".

Proposals expected in weeks will suggest national minimum standards for preparing new recruits to work in nursing homes, according to the report.

Carers who help with tasks like washing and dressing elderly people in their own homes will also apparently be required to complete the training.

Winterbourne View owners go into administration

Winterbourne View was one of 16 care homes owned by Castlebeck, which has gone into administration Credit: PA Wire

The owners of a former care home at the centre of a patient abuse scandal have announced it has gone into administration.

Castlebeck, which housed patients with learning disabilities at the now closed Winterbourne View, own 16 other care homes.

Administrators are seeking buyers for the other properties.

Administrators have said: "The ongoing care of patients and residents will be the priority and Castlebeck and the administrators are committed to working with local commissioners to ensure safe transfer ownership of facilities and continuity of care for individuals."


Key Government recommendations on care homes

The Government has published its final report on the Winterbourne View Hospital, the main findings include:

  • by Spring 2013 the department will set out proposals to strengthen accountability of boards of directors and senior managers
  • by June 2013 all current placements will be reviewed, everyone in hospital inappropriately moved to community-based support as quickly as possible, and no later than June 2014
  • by April 2014 each area will have a joint plan to ensure high quality care and support services for all people with learning disabilities or autism and mental health conditions or behaviour described as challenging
  • the CQC will strengthen inspections and regulation of hospitals and care homes, including unannounced inspections involving people who use services and their families
  • a new NHS and local government-led joint improvement team will be created to lead and support this transformation

Report into Winterbourne View scandal due

The BBC's Panorama exposed the scandal in June last year when it broadcast undercover journalist Joseph Casey's secret footage, recorded when he was employed at Winterbourne View as a care worker.

Support workers Wayne Rogers, Alison Dove, Graham Doyle, Gardiner, Michael Ezenagu, Danny Brake, Charlotte Cotterell, Holly Draper and Neil Ferguson were caught out in the sting.

Nurses Sookalingum Appoo and Kelvin Fore were filmed condoning the abuse by failing to stop it.

Winterbourne View private hospital in Bristol. Credit: PA Wire

The journalist Mr Casey had got a job at Winterbourne View after whistleblower Terry Bryan, a former nurse at the home, went to the BBC after his complaints to care home owners Castlebeck and care watchdogs were ignored.

His shocking footage showed residents being slapped, soaked in water, trapped under chairs, taunted, sworn at and having their hair pulled, eyes poked and being illegally restrained.

Care home report to be published

A report into the Winterbourne View scandal will be published by the Department of Health (DH), just over a month after the Government promised to "deliver real change" in the provision of care for disabled people.

In October six members of staff - four support workers and two nurses - were jailed for between six months and two years for their roles in the abuse at the private hospital in Hambrook, South Gloucestershire.

Five others were given suspended prison sentences by a judge at Bristol Crown Court, who condemned the "culture of ill-treatment" and said it had "corrupted and debased".

Today, Norman Lamb, minister of state for care services, publishes his department's review of the scandal.