'No excuse' for care service failures, says health minister

Health minister Norman Lamb has said there is "no excuse" for the further mistreatment of patients moved from failed care home Winterbourne View.

A BBC Panorama report on Monday is due to reveal new safety alerts have been issued for some former patients.

The Lib Dem minister said it would highlight the "unacceptable failures" still crippling care commissioning.

The report comes after six workers were jailed for ill treating and neglecting patients at the now closed hospital.

Another five former support workers were convicted at Bristol Crown Court for the ill-treatment of patients there.

'The right support'

Panorama is set to report that at least 19 of the 51 former Winterbourne View patients have been issued with safeguarding alerts since they were moved to other care homes - according to NHS figures.

The programme has also learned that at least one has been assaulted and one criminal inquiry is under way, although not all of the alerts mean that someone was harmed.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Lamb said: "The BBC Panorama programme to be broadcast tonight continues to highlight inappropriate and poor quality care. There is no excuse for this."

He said a Department of Health review had found "clear evidence that there are far too many people in specialist inpatient learning disability services - including assessment and treatment units - and many are staying there for too long".

Mr Lamb insisted vulnerable people would be able to avoid such facilities if "given the right support in their homes or in community settings".

He underlined the importance of vulnerable people being able to "benefit from local personalised services" and to be "supported to live in the community wherever possible".

Mr Lamb went on: "The key priorities are to address unacceptable failures of commissioning and to improve the capacity and capability of commissioning across health and care for people with behaviour which challenges with the aim of driving up the quality of care they receive, improving their lives and significantly reducing the number of people using inpatient services.

"This is best done through effective joint commissioning across health and social care and proper local planning."




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