Darlington-based Castlebeck vows "care home scandal won't be repeated" (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Darlington-based Castlebeck vows "care home scandal won't be repeated"
THE DARLINGTON-based owners of scandal-hit care home Winterbourne View have vowed that the catalogue of abuse at the hospital would not be repeated at any of its other homes.
Castlebeck said it had made changes at board level and had overhauled its policies and procedures to ensure that nothing like this could ever happen again.
Winterbourne View was exposed by BBC1's Panorama last year when an undercover reporter recorded secret footage of patients being abused by carers.
Castlebeck, health regulators, local health services and police were all criticised today for failing to act on increasing warning signs of institutional abuse by staff.
The 150-page report by independent expert Margaret Flynn details hundreds of incidents of restraint and dozens of assaults on patients at the private hospital at Hambrook, South Gloucestershire.
In a lengthy statement, the firm said: "The board and management team at Castlebeck welcomes the publication of the serious case review and the findings of the panel under the independent chairmanship of Dr Margaret Flynn.
"We hope that the lessons learned and the actions that flow from this rigorous report will mark the start of a new chapter for care in our sector.
"The actions towards people with learning disabilities by former members of staff at Winterbourne View Hospital were both wholly unacceptable and deeply distressing for all concerned and we are truly sorry this happened in one of our services.
"The criticisms that have been directed at the health and social care sector in general, and particularly those that were directed at our organisation and are highlighted in this report have been listened to and are actively being addressed.
"We believe we have responded in a way that demonstrates our resolve to ensure that the events of Winterbourne View will not be repeated.
"Our operational management structures have been reviewed and revised, those structures will be underpinned by the launch of a new strategy for quality that helps us to move towards a model of care reflective of the recommendations contained within the Department of Health interim report and any further policies and guidance that they issue.
"Castlebeck is emerging as one of the few providers in the sector that have moved to ensure that we embrace and can demonstrate our transparent approach to all sections of our policy, procedure and practice.
"In the 15 months since those events we have made significant changes within our organisation that include extensive changes to board membership, all new operations structures, strengthened clinical governance and increased staff training and development.
"These improvements and others are part of an ongoing and widespread development programme to ensure we provide safe, high quality, person centred care.
"Importantly, we are determined to ensure that each of the persons for whom we care and their family are firmly at the heart of everything we do.
"We are committed to hearing the voice of those who use our services and those who know and care for them.
"All our service users now have access to independent advocacy and we are introducing a range of initiatives to ensure we listen to, and act on, their views in regard to the care and support provided.
Following the events at Winterbourne View Hospital the findings from the 150 CQC inspections of NHS and independent care providers found a real gap between policy and practice in learning disability services across the country.
"Serious doubt has been cast on the sectors ability to provide the right care and support for people with learning disabilities, autism and behaviours that may be described as challenging.
"We are committed as an organisation to learn the lessons from the serious case review and the 150 CQC visits and to address the issues outlined in the Department of Health interim report and its 14 point plan systematically.
"We are working hard to ensure that our model of care is fit for the future. This includes ensuring that an individuals plans for discharge begin on the day of admission and working in partnership with our colleagues across agencies to promote robust community support.
"There is no justification for poor standards of care and support in any service in any sector.
However, with diligence and the support of those who use our services, their families, staff, commissioners and regulators both individually and collectively, we may hope to ensure that confidence in the care sector is re-established and high-quality services are consistently delivered.
"More details of our change programme, progress to date and other information is available on the Castlebeck website www.castlebeck.com/family-and-carers/safety/where-we-are-now."