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Three Cornish People At Winterbourne View

June 16, 2011

Three patients from Cornwall were at a Bristol hospital at the centre of an abuse scandal within the past 14 months, BBC Cornwall has learned.

A BBC Panorama programme exposed the abuse of adults with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View.

All three people from Cornwall who were at the unit have since been moved to alternative services.

Health and council officials in Cornwall said they were working with relevant authorities on the issue.

Eleven people have been questioned and released on bail following the programme, and the government said it would carry out its own review of what happened.

Patients at the unit, run by a company called Castlebeck, were filmed by an undercover reporter posing as a care worker.

Residents were seen being punched, slapped, taunted and drenched with water.

A former senior nurse there repeatedly contacted the regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), with concerns, but it failed to act.

The CQC later admitted it was “an unforgivable error of judgement.”

A serious case review into the alleged abuse at the residential hospital has been set for July.

Solicitor’s investigation

One family from St Austell said they believed their relative had suffered probable physical abuse, intimidation and bullying when they were at the hospital between November 2006 and April 2010.

The family has asked a solicitor to investigate the allegations of abuse.

The Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust – the principal provider of mental health and learning disability services to people living in Cornwall – said that it, the county’s primary care trust and Cornwall Council were aware of the situation.

It said they were all working closely with all relevant authorities on the issue, but that, because of on-going investigations, it was unable to comment further.

The people from Cornwall were in Bristol after clinicians in Cornwall decided the patients’ needs could not be met in the county and that they needed to be sent somewhere suitable elsewhere.

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