Winterbourne View Panorama ‘abuse’ hospital to close

A residential hospital for vulnerable adults near Bristol where alleged abuse was secretly filmed by the BBC Panorama programme is to close on Friday.

Castlebeck, which runs Winterbourne View, said the hospital would close on 24 June when the last patients would be transferred to alternative services.

Patients at the unit were filmed by an undercover reporter posing as a care worker.

The footage showed residents being pinned down, slapped and taunted.

A spokesman for Castlebeck said the company had been working closely with families and carers, the NHS and social services “to ensure patients are safely transferred with minimum disruption to their lives”.

After the programme was broadcast Castlebeck apologised and launched an internal investigation.

A number of people have been questioned by police and released on bail following the programme and the government said it would carry out its own review of what happened.

A serious case review into the alleged abuse at the residential hospital has been set for July.
‘Future untenable’

Jack Lopresti, the local Conservative MP, said he had met Lee Reed, the chief executive of Castlebeck, earlier in the day.

Mr Lopresti said: “Mr Reed gave me his assurances that the closure of the hospital will be conducted in as sensitive a way as possible.

“I stand by my call for the hospital’s closure and I am pleased that Castlebeck have come to the same conclusion.

“Given the horrific events which have taken place at Winterbourne View I believe its future running is untenable.”