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A Response to Panorama

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Posted on 3rd June 2011.

03 June 2011

A Response to Panorama

The programme aired by Panorama last night was truly horrific viewing. The systematic physical and verbal abuse uncovered at Winterbourne View towards their vulnerable adults highlighted consistent failings from both within Castlebeck and from the Care Quality Commission ( CQC), our social care regulator – neither of which are acceptable.

As a care provider we make a commitment to those whom entrust us with the safety and wellbeing of their loved ones, taking this leap of faith in an organisation is hard enough , today I cant but feel its going to be that little bit harder.

And rightly so, to anybody considering a care solution this programme confirmed your worst nightmares, no accountability, no empathy, no structure, no transparency. Dark dark days indeed.

The end of the documentary initimated a change of provider for many of the victims identified and was able to show the difference a supportive environment made to Simon, a young gentleman with learning difficulties. And so what we mustnt do is let the criminal acts of 4 so called “support workers” tarnish the fabulous work of the care community at large, the dedicated , committed, professional carers of this country and how they touch peoples lives. Easier said than done, its up to us as a care provider to work closer than ever with families so that the service we offer is developed and delivered collaboratively and openly, a partnership with clear lines of communication whom they can trust.

So what will happen within our industry as a result? We learn today that the government has ordered a review of the CQC’s failure to investigate a whistleblower’s account of the abuse at Winterbourne and that Paul Burstow, the

social care minister, has asked the regulator to investigate similar services to the unit, the role of the CQC, which is the sector regulator, and the local authority. A committee of MPs will also question CQC chiefs over their responsibilities. Stephen Dorrell, the chair of the Commons health committee, said a scheduled hearing with CQC bosses on 22 June will now focus on the organisation’s failings in the case.

Investigations here, there and everywhere. It’s difficult not to be cynical when we have heard these proclamations before.

Those who have nothing to hide should embrace the opportununity to educate and reassure. And we can do this today

Sally Tomkotowicz