Directors of care homes such as Winterbourne View near Bristol where patients suffered neglect could be held criminally accountable under plans announced by the Care Minister Norman Lamb:
Eleven care workers from the hospital near Bristol were sentenced last year for abusing and neglecting patients following an undercover television documentary.
We're not jailing but it would be unlimited fines and it will be for the awful cases.
If you break the fundamental standards that you have to comply with as a provider of care, and you are responsible for that, there are consequences, and I think that's what the public expect.
There's also a culture when awful things happen, there's a cover up, people get paid off, they get gagged from talking about it. That has to end.
These pay offs have to end and people at the top of the organisation should be held to account."
Scandals like Winterbourne View and Mid-Staffs have damaged confidence in our health and care system.
Part of our commitment to rebuilding that trust comes from making sure that people at all levels are held to account for failings when they occur.
Whilst there must be a sharper focus on corporate accountability, more needs to be done to ensure those responsible for leading a care organisation are up to the job.
I hope that providers and people who use services and their families will respond to this consultation as we look to take these proposals forward."
The company that ran Winterbourne View care home, where 11 staff admitted abusing vulnerable people in their care, has called in administrators.
The home in South Gloucestershire became the focus of national attention when undercover cameras caught staff beating, tormenting and bullying patients.
The home's owner, Castlebeck, partly blames the fall-out for their financial difficulty. Bob Constantine reports.
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."
A former Heath Minister is calling for a change in the law to allow care home owners to be prosecuted for abuse and neglect.
Paul Burstow has published a report in which he argues that in cases like the Winterbourne View abuse, it is not enough for those who carry out the abuse to be prosecuted. He says companies in charge should be held criminally accountable.
Eleven care workers have been sentenced for neglecting or ill-treating patients at Winterbourne View near Bristol, some of the patients were from our region.
The Rooney Family from St Austell never actually saw their son Terry being abused but said he lived in terror while he was there. Six of the carers have been sent to prison for beating, tormenting and bullying mental health patients. Another five have been given suspended sentences.
Jason Gardiner was one of the care workers at Winterbourne when the abuse was taking place. He admitted 2 counts of ill treatment but wasn't jailed today - he was given a 4 month suspended sentence and 200 hours of community service. This is what he had to say outside Bristol Crown Court.
11 care workers who admit abusing and/or neglecting patients at the former Winterbourne View hospital are due to be sentenced this weekRead the full story ›
11 care workers who've admitted ill-treating or neglecting patients at the Winterbourne View Hospital in South Gloucestershire will be sentenced this week.
Michael Ezenagu, Wayne Rogers, Graham Doyle, Allison Dove, Jason Gardiner, Charlotte Cotterell, Holly Draper, Kelvin Fore, Sookalingun Appoo, Danny Brake, and Neil Ferguson have already pleaded guilty to a total of 38 charges under the Mental Health Act.