Re: BBC Panorama Whorlton Hall
Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:55 am
CQC have Public Board meetings??? Well \I've never heard of them before, has anyone else????
Our board meets regularly to discuss our work.
We are committed to openness and transparency. The board conducts as much of its business as possible in a session that the public are welcome to attend and observe. To protect confidentiality some business is discussed in a private session.
The agenda and meeting papers are available on this page a few days before each meeting.
You can also watch recordings of the meetings on this website.
The Guardian view on the abuse of learning-disabled people : duties of care.
Undercover filming and a trio of reports show that the lessons of the Winterbourne View scandal have not yet been learned.
The publication in quick succession of three reports, combined with last week’s BBC Panorama programme showing patients at Whorlton Hall hospital being abused by staff, have shed much-needed light on the mistreatment of learning-disabled people. Eight years after a reporter went undercover at a similar hospital, Winterbourne View, the scenes appearing to show vulnerable adults being bullied and threatened were all the more appalling for being familiar.
The emergence over the weekend of a whistleblower, former Care Quality Commission inspector Barry Stanley-Wilkinson, made the systemic nature of this failure even clearer. Mr Stanley-Wilkinson says he wrote a critical report of Whorlton Hall that was never published. The CQC says that report did not allege abuse. But it has apologised for failing to spot problems at Whorlton Hall, which it recently rated “good”.
The hospital, which was recently taken over by the US healthcare company Cygnet, now stands empty. Ten staff have been arrested and the criminal justice process must run its course. But any grim satisfaction in rooting out bad apples should be short-lived. What has been revealed over the past 10 days, in reports by children’s commissioner Anne Longfield, the CQC and academic researchers as well as by the BBC, goes beyond the actions of a callous few.
The underlying problem has three main aspects. The first is discrimination against learning-disabled and autistic people. Last week’s review of mortality rates, commissioned by the NHS, showed that women and men with learning disabilities die 27 and 23 years earlier than the general population, with researchers pointing to “bias in treatment” as an explanation.
Such bias of course intersects with other prejudices – as the variation in death rates between women and men suggests. Panorama provided further evidence of this, with shocking footage of male carers ganging up on a female patient known to be afraid of men, a form of misogynist bullying they described as “pressing the man button”.
The second aspect is the standard and status of work in the care sector. This question is far bigger than Whorlton Hall. The fact is that care – whether of autistic or disabled people, dementia sufferers or looked-after children – is undervalued. This does not excuse unkind or illegal behaviour. It does mean that many of the people employed in this area are underqualified, poorly motivated and unsuited to what must be recognised as demanding work.
The third aspect is structural and concerns commissioning and regulation. The squeeze on local authority budgets combined with the government’s failure to propose, let alone deliver, a policy on social care, has created unhealthy conditions. The commissioners who purchase care packages must be accountable. So must the CQC. But politicians too must take responsibility for the failure to follow through on commitments made following previous scandals. Health secretary Matt Hancock’s refusal to be interviewed about Whorlton Hall was a serious mistake.
Since 2011, the number of adults living in specialist hospitals has fallen from 3,400 to 2,300. But steep rises in the use of physical restraint, combined with warnings from Anne Longfield and others about “values and culture”, are alarming. If the government has rejected proposals for an independent commissioner for learning-disabled people, ministers must explain why – and what they plan to do instead.
We see families buckling under the strain of caring, with support whittled away as services close due to budget cuts. And we are prompted to consider what it must be like working in this environment – forced to reconcile a commitment to acting in people’s best interests with options that are patently inadequate but all the council has the money to pay for.