Panorama – Undercover Hospital Abuse

Panorama  – Whorlton Hall, County Durham – Abusers of the Vulnerable

I have been watching the panorama programme about the dreadful abuse in a special home at Whorlton Hall, County Durham, run by Cygnet Health Care and I feel sick and I feel angry. 

I know it is now closed but this was a place for people with learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour and never in my life have I wanted to be violent with people so much….the care staff, and it is not the first and it won’t be the last and we will see this again and again as it seems to be a new sport….the abuse of the most vulnerable.

Let me explain my stance…I have two autistic grandchildren and they are challenging but at the same time they are the most beautiful, caring and fascinating children and the eldest one well…she wants to be a unicorn and her world is beautiful  just like her.   She can become unpredictable and can have mood swings but that is just who she is, and warm words, patience and calming chats will make it go away and then we have the smiles, the kisses and the cuddles.

My other grandchild a boy loves trains, and everything is train mad and paw patrol and he is like the rain man on computers and it is fascinating to watch him and just take a delight in watching him and everything he does.   It took over 6 years for him to cuddle us and some days he does, some days he doesn’t but we love him more and more each day, and everything is done on his say so, but I know he feels loved, and his happiness is so important to us.  

Their lives are challenging, and they have an older brother who is so patient with them and he loves them and their adoration for him just melts my heart, and he tells me that when he is older he wants a 5 bedroomed house so that his wife, children, brother and sister can live with him.  The kisses I get off them with a bye bye nana just makes my day, and then to watch this….my blood boils.

How dare they bully, abuse and terrorise such vulnerable people. Some of the care workers at that hospital were nasty, vindictive and should be jailed for abuse.  Not all of them as it is unfair to tarnish them all the same…but dear god those animals who terrorised those sweet innocent people need to face justice and my jaw dropped to see a nurse and a qualified care worker doing it.

I am sick to death of monsters deliberately torturing the most vulnerable of people and those who run these sort of concentration camps should be shut down and the directors fined ALL their profits and banned from running anything like this PERIOD.   

Throughout the programme there is no sign of real management, just some pathetic individual who held a title deputy shift manager (laughable as he shouldn’t be in charge of sanitation) and no Doctors…where the hell were the Doctors whilst these poor vulnerable people were being tortured, abused and terrorised.

There was nothing to keep the patients busy, involved and have their minds interested.  All day, every day they were subjected to threats, abuse and terrorism.  Where was the therapy that they so desperately needed?  What is being done with the thousands of pounds that it costs to house those with special needs as surely the Directors could see it wasn’t being spent on therapy as nothing was there…..

Thankfully those monsters who brutalised the most vulnerable have been suspended, and 10 are facing a criminal investigation and NEVER, NEVER AGAIN SHOULD THOSE MOST IN NEED OF OUR SUPPORT BE LEFT LIKE THIS.

I can guarantee one thing…..hell will freeze over before my grandchildren ever go in a place like Whorlton Hall. 

This mealy mouth apology was given by the CQC

Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the CQC, told Panorama: “On this occasion it is quite clear that we did not pick up the abuse that was happening at Whorlton Hall.  “All I can do is apologise deeply to the people concerned.”

 Maybe it is about time we shut the CQC and just asked caring individuals to assess and rate those homes without notice and without being fobbed off by sweet words and feelings of being they are so important, but who will sit down and chat one to one with those who live there and question staff demanding to know why incidents happen if there are too many.  I for one would do that and write up a report  or get the police and why….because as the grandmother of autistic grandchildren I care and as a society so should we.  We should demand that care homes where our most vulnerable of people live have a gold standard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and if not then hold those who own it responsible. 

Demand that we should be able to inspect them at no notice given as can we really trust the establishment that rates them as “good” and be so easily fooled?  I don’t think so as if they can be fooled once then they can be fooled again and again and the people who live in these buildings cannot afford be let down once, and yet they are repeatedly let down again and again as we have seen in the film when one of the residents phoned the police….and nothing infact the care staff (if any bunch of nasties were given the wrong job description…its that lot) just laughed.

It is about time we spoke to the residents instead of the care givers as I know who I would believe, the CQC should do something unique and ask them…ask the residents whether they are being well looked after.  If the person visiting on behalf of the CQC does not have the knowledge of how to address the residents then hire someone who can.  Make the care givers realise that the residents they look after will have a voice as it will make them change their behaviour and hold them responsible quickly and where necessary.    Make the owners provide a stimulated environment and training again and again if necessary, with outside adjudicators judging the staff and without notice for how they handle the residents with the ability to fire on the spot if necessary and for the safety of the residents…. Sadly, todate nothing is in place.

Until we do then we will see again and again the behaviour that reduces people like me to tears and anger, and whilst I can make sure that my most precious little people will be looked after not everyone is as lucky as them, and as a society it is just not good enough.

Published by pointsofsue

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