Winterbourne View staff admit abuse charges

Winterbourne View, Vantage Office Park, Bradley Stoke, Bristol

Three former members of staff at a Bradley Stoke care home that was closed down after an undercover operation by a BBC TV programme have pleaded guilty to ill-treating vulnerable patients.

Secretly filmed footage broadcast in a Panorama documentary on 31st May 2011 appeared to show vulnerable residents being pinned down, slapped, doused in water and taunted.

Avon and Somerset Police have since charged eleven people with ill treatment and neglect offences under the Mental Health Act.

All eleven appeared yesterday (Thursday 9th February) at Bristol Crown Court, where three of them pleaded guilty to a total of 18 charges relating to the ill-treatment of patients at Winterbourne View. Two defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of ill-treatment, with the remaining eight declining to enter pleas.

Defendants yet to enter pleas are due to return to court on Friday 16th March.

The private care home, which catered for adults with learning difficulties, is located within the Vantage Office Park (off Old Gloucester Road) in the south-east corner of Bradley Stoke [map].

Operating company Castlebeck closed the home on 24th June 2011, after patients were transferred to other services. Today, the building remains unused, with all ground floor windows and entrances boarded up.

The South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board is currently conducting a Serious Case Review into the allegations of abuse at Winterbourne View. According to a response to a recent Freedom of Information request, the review’s report is “likely to be published in March 2012 but this may be subject to change given the intervention of the criminal justice system”.

Other reviews are being (or have been) carried out by the NHS, the Care Quality Commission, Castlebeck and the Department of Health.

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  1. Update from the Bristol Evening Post following yesterday’s court appearances:

    Nine of 11 carers charged with abusing patients at Winterbourne View secure hospital have admitted wrongdoing, whilst the remaining two face a trial.

    All 11 defendants were granted bail with the condition that they are not allowed to work or seek work with vulnerable people.

    The next hearing in the case is due on April 10.

    Read more: Nine carers admit to wrongdoing at home

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