Second Bristol care home to shut after abuse scandal

A second care home in Bristol, owned by the company at the centre of allegations of abuse of vulnerable patients, is to close.

Castlebeck, which owned the Winterbourne View care home in Bristol where abuse was filmed by an undercover BBC journalist for Panorama, has said it will close Rose Villa, in south Bristol.

Four staff members at the home in Brislington were suspended last month amid fresh claims of abuse of vulnerable residents.

The unnamed workers were not arrested, following an inspection by regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). But Castlebeck yesterday said it was closing the rehabilitation centre for adults with learning disabilities, which has five patients and 30 staff, for “operational reasons”.

Winterbourne View, which saw 13 staff members suspended over allegations of abuse, closed in June.

Castlebeck’s chief executive, Lee Reed, the company was closing the site “with regret”.

“The service is being closed purely for operational reasons,” he said. “Whilst we recognise the concerns raised in the recent CQC inspection report, our decision has resulted from the fact that in reviewing operational practicalities, Rose Villa would be left on its own in the South West – some distance from the support that could be provided by our services in the West Midlands.

“The decision is purely voluntary and not at the instigation of CQC.

“We very much appreciate the support given to Rose Villa by commissioners since the service opened. However, we also understand the scrutiny they are under in terms of continuing to commission from a service where CQC have identified concerns, albeit that these could, in our opinion, be relatively easily addressed.”

The CQC carried out an inspection of Rose Villa on July 1, and two members of staff were suspended after concerns were raised about safeguarding.

According to the BBC, another member of staff was suspended in June after a whistleblower went public, and the fourth worker is accused of mishandling a patient.

Staff at Rose Villa, which opened in December 2009, were told of the decision to close it yesterday morning, the company said.

It said it was looking to transfer patients to other facilities with minimal disruption. All staff, it said, “will be able to apply for alternative employment within Castlebeck as appropriate”.

Winterbourne View, in Hambrook, was closed in June after horrifying allegations of abuse were made.

The Panorama footage appeared to show vulnerable residents with learning disabilities being pinned down, slapped, doused in cold water and repeatedly taunted and teased.