Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Winterbourne View Hospital and Patient Abuse by Dr Helen Bright

Following exposure by BBC Panorama of abuse of mentally impaired residents at private Winterbourne View Hospital in Bristol, UK, it became known that a whistleblower approached Care Quality Commission about it and was ignored. Click on photo to watch the program and abuse.

This reminded me of my own attempts to correct equally disturbing events in a NHS hospital where I worked. When I approached Medical Director about various abuses of patients I was told: "Relax. Lets have a cup of tea and put our feet up."

There were other staff before me who for years have been alerting the press but nothing happened even though the papers did publish articles of, for example, staff extinguishing cigarettes on patients.

Even today it upsets me when I think of what was done to the patients: beatings, shouting, and rapes. And there was probably more than I witnessed with my own eyes.

Eventually the hospital where I worked closed down. If there were cameras on the wards fewer staff would have got away with what they did. That assumes, of course, that police would be willing to look at the evidence. They do not do that always, of course. The fact that Bristol police took some action is good news.


Anonymous said...

This programme showed the abuse in a registered facility but there is similar abuse in local authority, care in the community settings too. The abuse does not only apply to the carers but also to professional mistreatment by psychiatrists.

David DIckinson said...

I was referred to the NMC following two internal inquiries that my complaints about abusive seclusion and such like precipitated but were effectively cover-ups. The case against me is a huge contrivance and would be quite amusing if it were not so serious given the curious workings of our regulators as repeatedly reported over the years. Having worked in the speciality of autism and challenging behavior the experience of working in that hospital was akin to returning to 1975. The referring manager suggested that MY knowledge base is out of date and is therefore the problem. One of the two internal inquiries commented upon the single modern example of challenging behavior pathway practice....MINE...given to me because the patients named nurse, wife of the community modern matron had never heard of the term "challenging behavior pathway"!!!!