Budock Hospital: Police Begin Abuse Claims Inquiry

Police have started an inquiry into allegations of abuse of people with learning difficulties in Cornwall. Operation Apple will investigate crimes such as assault following inspections by the Healthcare Commission and Commission for Social Care Inspection. Detectives are to investigate more than 50 claims, including punching and kicking of people in the care of Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust.

Any criminal charges are likely to be brought by September or October. The inspectorates’ investigation was launched after allegations of abuse by staff at Budock Hospital, a treatment centre for patients with learning disabilities near Falmouth.

Their report last month said the scale of abuse across Cornwall was the worst the inspectorates had come across.

Detectives expect to have to examine thousands of documents and interview many vulnerable people. Chief Insp Martin Orpe, one of Devon and Cornwall Police’s most experienced detectives, will lead the investigation and work with eight other officers.

The trust said in a statement: “The trust is continuing to work in partnership with the police and the Adult Protection Unit to assist with the ongoing investigation into all allegations identified by the Healthcare Commission and the Commission for Social Care Inspection in its report of July this year.

“We want to ensure any abusive practice is brought to light and those accessing our services receive the best possible standards of care and support.”