Panorama care programme prompts police probe

By Heather Jameson | 23 May 2019

A police investigation has been launched after the BBC’s Panorama programme uncovered abuse and maltreatment of vulnerable adults at a Durham hospital.

Eight years on from the Winterbourne View scandal, the programme showed a series of incidents at the privately run Whorlton Hall hospital in Durham.

The programme showed undercover footage of staff using threating violence, excessive restraints and ‘psychological torturing’ patients.

In the aftermath of the documentary surrounding mistreatment of patients at Winterbourne View, the then prime minister David Cameron took action to prevent further abuse of vulnerable adults.

The government committed to closing specialist hospitals and providing more care in the community. Since 2012, specialist bed numbers have fallen from 3,400 to 2,300 – falling short of the target of 1,700 by March this year.

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