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Winterbourne View: NHS Was More Interested In Price Than Quality Of Care

November 8, 2011

Why doesn’t this surprise me?

A report into Bristol care home Winterbourne View is expected to conclude the NHS was more interested in contract price than quality of care.

The NHS South West review into the way health authorities commissioned the private hospital services, is about to be signed off, the BBC understands.

The home was closed six months ago after Panorama filmed abuse of patients with learning disabilities.

Owner Castlebeck said it was “committed to learning lessons”.

The report is expected to raise concerns about the lack of detail in any contracts between primary care trusts and Castlebeck.

According to BBC West health correspondent Matthew Hill, the report said the contracts had no built-in mechanisms to say how quality could be assured.

Castlebeck said: “We haven’t had the opportunity to see the report at this stage so are not aware of its content.”

They added they would be “acting on those lessons to make improvements to services wherever they are needed”.

The programme showed patients at Winterbourne View being pinned down, slapped and taunted.

Thirteen bailed

The report by the NHS will feed into the ongoing serious case review, which is being conducted by South Gloucestershire Council.

That is expected to be published in the New Year.

Thirteen people have been arrested and released on bail until 28 November in connection with the alleged abuse, pending further inquiries.

Winterbourne View’s 24 patients were transferred from the hospital when it was closed, in June.

The report is also expected to raise concerns that families were unable to freely visit their relatives, and were restricted to seeing them in the reception area.

Steve Sollars, whose 22-year-old son Sam was in Winterbourne View for two years up to 2010, said he felt what was happening at the home was being “hidden”.

“At first they were fine they were good. They would let us go onto the floor where he was and I’d get to know other patients there.

“And then all of a sudden, for no reason, it was stopped. There was no explanation. No reason, they just said you’re not allowed on the ward,” he said.

Mr Sollars said after he was banned from seeing him in the ward they would meet and he “didn’t seem right in himself”.

“We didn’t know how he was being looked after. We know Sam could be messy but we didn’t know what he was going to be like. We didn’t know upstairs what was going on.

“So we feel now, after this programme, were things being hidden? Were there things they didn’t want us to see?”

Mr Sollars said since Sam had moved he was “absolutely fantastic” – “improved so much that you wouldn’t believe”.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 8, 2011 1:26 pm

    This happens with NHS Continuing Care contracts as well. The PCT’s commission the cheapest rather than the best fit for the patient. We speak from personal experience.

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