Whorlton Hall abuse scandal

People First have issued a Press Release following the abuse revealed at Whorlton Hall

A recent Panorama documentary has exposed shocking abuse at the private Whorlton Hall hospital for people with learning difficulties and autistic people in County Durham. Seven men and three women – all members of staff – have been arrested by Durham police and are being questioned about offences relating to abuse and neglect. The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the health and care watchdog, was criticised for failing to spot and halt the abuse. People First Self Advocacy have issued a Press Release stating:

“At People First Self Advocacy we were horrified to learn of yet another case of abuse and torture of people with Leaning Difficulties and Autism. This is from within a system that should be safe and supportive. After the Panorama programme exposed the abuse at Winterbourne View in 2011, promises were made to move over half of the people in Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs) back into the community and eventually close them.
Eight years on Panorama exposed Whorlton Hall, another shocking case of abuse being missed ‘despite at least 100 official visits’. The Government has not lived up to their promise or met the targets set by NHS England after Winterbourne View. The bodies who have been given the responsibility by the Government to keep us safe have let us down again. People First Self Advocacy calls for the Government to make Article 19 (Living independently and being included in the community) part of our law – providing us with a statutory right to independent living.
Our #CloseATUs campaign is not just calling for the closure of ATUs but pressing for people to have the advocacy and support they need in their local communities.”

Andrew Lee, Director of People First Self Advocacy said:
“As with Winterbourne, the news of Whorlton Hall brought tears, upset and anger to me and many other people I know. Our thoughts go to all of the people who experienced this abuse. We need to make sure this does not happen again.”

You can view the full Press Release here.

Inclusion London response

Inclusion London share these profound concerns and are deeply distressed at the abuse exposed and the ongoing situation where people are restrained and segregated.  We feel strongly that the rights set out in the UNCRPD need to be urgently implemented, practices of restraint eradicated and institutions closed.

We have submitted evidence to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) review on the use of restraint, seclusion and segregation outlining our profound concerns. You can view our full submission here.