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Winterbourne View nurses jailed


Two nurses who admitted wilfully neglecting patients with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View hospital have been jailed.

Sookalingum Appoo, 58, of Dial Lane, Bristol, and Kelvin Fore, 33, of Ellesmere Walk, Middlesbrough, were each given six month sentences at Bristol Crown Court today.

Four healthcare support workers from Winterbourne View were also jailed while a further five received suspended sentences and unpaid community work.

Wayne Rogers, 32, admitted nine counts of ill-treating patients, and was jailed for two years, while Alison Dove and Graham Doyle were handed 20 months behind bars after they both pleaded guilty to seven charges of abuse. Holly Draper, 23, from Mangotsfield was sentenced to 12 months.

Sentencing, Judge Neil Ford QC said there was a “culture of cruelty” at the hospital for patients with learning disabilities and autism.

The abuse of patients at the hospital was exposed by the BBC’s Panorama programme after nurse Terry Bryan blew the whistle. His previous attempts to raise concerns with management and the Care Quality Commission were ignored.

A serious case review by South Gloucestershire Council found there was extensive misuse of physical restraint by nurses and support workers at the hospital which was owned and operated by Castlebeck Ltd.

Speaking after the sentencing, Avon and Somerset Police detective chief superintendent Louisa Rolfe, said: “Today, in sentencing these people, Judge Ford has recognised the inhumanity of their behaviour.

“There are no words to describe the horrific, vindictive treatment these offenders meted out to the vulnerable young adults of Winterbourne View.

“They and their loved ones should have felt safe and secure in the knowledge they were being well cared for. Instead these vulnerable young people were subjected to the most extreme and persistent abuse.”


Readers' comments (29)

  • Hopefully the jail sentence will will send out a clear message that abuse in healthcare will no longer be tolerated.

    Or will it?

    Until the Management and Human Resource department who recruited the abusers and the so called Care Commission who failed to respond to the courageous employee who blew the whistle on this abuse, are called to account such criminal abuse will continue. Why have they not been charged?

    Abuse in the healthcare system is still happening. all because whistleblowers are not listened to. In fact whistleblowers are being intimidated and hounded out of their jobs. What message does this give to other staff?

    By seeing no evil, hearing no evil, other staff will have a pay cheque at the end of the month. Many courageous whistleblowers will never work in healthcare again; all because corrupt managers and Care Commission will blacklist them.

    We should not need undercover evidence to convict criminals. Healthcare staff who stand on the sideline and refuse to support whistleblowers are as guilty as the actual perpetrators.
    Patients First was launched in December 2011 to support those raising concerns about risks and to patient care and safety.For information see
    email patientsfirst

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  • what about the management and CQC who ignored the original concerns, will they face prosecution too for allowing this to continue.

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  • I agree with the prosecutions and the jail sentences but like those who have posted above how on earth are the owners of this business and the CQC getting away with it?? They are just as guilty.

    At least the Police have apologised for not prosecuting a member of staff there who punched a patients teeth out, and the case has now been re opened but the CQC will not admit any mistakes or even apologise, shame on them they are truly useless!

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  • James Brown

    Anonymous | 27-Oct-2012 11:34 am

    The prosecutions of the nurses will, I assume, be under the Mental Capacity Act, and I think you must effectively be 'directly involved' with the patient in order to fall foul of that Act.

    Senior managers, would I suspect need to be pursued under someting else - I'm not sure if there is a law which would allow for their prosection, or not.

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  • There must surely be some governing body for managers ie Institute of management.
    CQC needs to be referred for a parliamentary inquiry (yet again).

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  • kathleen white | 27-Oct-2012 11:11 am, whilst I agree with what you say, don't forget that this abuse will continue to happen as long as healthcare is given out to the cheapest bidder and the only priority for management is their profit and bottom line. They pay peanuts to the wrong staff, they do not care about the people in their homes, only how much profit is in every month. And this is the way the entire NHS is going too.

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  • michael stone

    kathleen white | 27-Oct-2012 12:39 pm

    I'm sure that in principle senior managers can be held to account in various ways - but I think Dim is right, and that the front-line care staff were charged under the MCA, and the management cannot be charged under that Act.

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  • what about everybody else involved such as managers, owners, those who ignored the whistleblowers, other staff working in the home and relatives who knew what was going on and the regulatory body such as the CQC who are supposed to ensure that standards are maintained.

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  • from above

    should also include the local and other responsible health and social care authorities

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  • Here we go - yet - again. Those who carried out wicked assaults on vunerable persons are rightly given custodial sentences and will presumably be kicked off the Nurses Register in perpetuity.

    The sentencing make a great headline as will the miscreants removal from the Register. Woo hoo.

    In the meantime those RESPONSIBLE for the "culture of cruelty" ie.the nurse manager(s) concerned will get down on their knees and, no doubt sweating buckets of devotional thanks, give praise to their God that there is no law under which they too may be prosecuted. Perhaps they will at least be removed from the register also?

    I await the NMC's decision with bated breath.

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