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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)

  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 28-Oct-2012 2:14 pm

    Tink, it is only yout final sentence that I'm not sure about - but I tend to not be optimistic.

    The half-ear I had on Radio 4 at lunchtime, heard (I think) an ex health Minister suggesting that there should be a law introduced that would allow for more senior managers to be jailed.

    Panorama is doing a follow-up on WV at 8-30 tonight, adn between 8 and 8-30 there is a Dispatches programme about 'the privatisation of the NHS' (my phrase - can't exactly remeber the title): that is either Ch4 or Ch5.

    Isn't it peculiar, how politicians see the problems so much more clearly, after they have left office ?

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  • Perhaps if there is no current legislation that allows the owners/managers and CQC to be prosecuted, then the legislation needs to be reviewed.

    Perhaps this is necessary not just because of this specific horror, but to ensure greater protection of whistleblowers - if owners/managers and indeed the CQC know they can be prosecuted for ignoring warnings from whistleblowers - and what law it is that would allow this, along with the potential penalties, then that just might be an incentive for them to listen rather than punish/blacklist/brush under the carpet.

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  • Aren't the managers/supervisors/owners of these establishments vicariously responsible for the actionsof their employees?

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  • They should have been jailed for GBH or ABH. The owners should knock the building down and give over the land to good causes, no-one would want to stay in that horrid place.

    They should be fined, their company shut down, the managers and others who knew what was going on held to account.

    What's the point in the CQC, NMC, social services, safeguarding officers, etc. if abuse goes on when concerns have been raised? It happens over and over again.

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  • The Guardian reported on what happened to the managers (Castlebeck is the company that owned Winterbourne)

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  • this is what should have been in place before the place was opened, good to see a turnaround but the company have no right to continue operating and should be closed down.

    no health care setting should be opened without being properly staffed and managed and this company are obviously just out to make money.

    the poor people that were 'inmates' there don't give a hoot about what they have now achieved, neither do I.

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  • I am glad to see this issue has been addressed. However as usual it is only the nurses involved in this terrible incident are blamed. I can't imagine that any of these nurses started off in the profession to end up behaving in such an appalling manner. The question is why did they end up like this? Is it years of abuse, bullying and dreadful working conditions? Nurses put up with a lot and in 21 years of nursing I have never met a nurse yet that hasn't been attacked both physically or verbally. Most of the time it is pushed under the carpet so to speak. This does not excuse the behaviour of these nurses but questions need to be asked why this happened at all and provision put in place to stop this from happening again and that means dealing with the violence that takes place daily on hardworking good and kind people who don't want to end up burnt out .

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  • I don't know much about the qualified nurses, did they have a specialist learning disability qualification. Nurse training has changed, it used to be a separate training course and I doubt this would have happened then because this was a field nurses chose to go into.

    I've been attacked, abused, shouted at and have worked hard for 20 years but would never do this to anyone. How can anyone justify doing what they did, slapping people,pushing people, standing on their arms, leaving them out in the cold. It was nothing more than just plain cruelty dished out by thugs who abused their position.

    How on earth did they get employed in the first place? What's the point of references, enhanced CRB checks, interviews, regulation if they can get work in the caring industry.

    The training department were a disgrace.

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  • David Dickinson

    Mmm..interesting but dare I say predictable ranges of comments. Its necessary to understand socio-cultural effects re the Winterbourne nurses. Wayne Rodgers was clearly a self opinionated and very dominant character who, unrestrained applied his personal interpretation of effective "care" leadership in the absence of day-to-day and moreover hands-on ethically driven practice-led leadership and against a restraint training background that recommended "kicking in the bollocks" as the final means of self protection. I strongly suspect that the nurses, who I understand were criticised for force-administering medication to service users under restraint were quite possibly kindly enough on individual bases and it would be interesting to know something of the views of service users towards those nurses. It is quite possible that the nurses were operating within impossible circumstances and they were faced with whistle blowing options that their training certainly never prepared them for in terms of taking on hugely powerful interests not least of which would have been messers Rogers and Co who would have been imedietelly inclined to square-up to their accusers. Remember, had Panorama been unlucky for whatever reason (his spy camara was nearly discovered in the show) or staff had gone sick etc and the Panorama team had decided not to transmit then those abuses would still be occuring and those nurses continuing to quite possibly agonise about what they should do. As a wise old charge nurse once said "there by the grace of God go we".

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