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ENABLE Scotland > Blog > Posts > ENABLE Scotland’s Statement in Relation to the Panorama broadcast on 31 May 2011
June 01
ENABLE Scotland’s Statement in Relation to the Panorama broadcast on 31 May 2011

Peter Scott, CEO of ENABLE Scotland, the leading charity of and for people who have learning disabilities in Scotland said:

We were appalled to witness the abuse of people who have learning disabilities shown on Panorama.  Now that the victims of this abuse have been removed to places of safety, the priority must be to learn hard lessons and to ensure that other vulnerable people are not being treated in this way in 21st century Britain. There are numerous lessons to learn. 

Firstly, the importance of robust whistleblowing policies, which are rigorously implemented, cannot be over-estimated.  Much of the abuse that took place in Winterbourne View could have been prevented if the concerns raised by a senior nurse had been responded to appropriately by the organisation that runs the establishment, or the Care Quality Commission.  There are additional lessons for regulators like the Care Quality Commission (the Scottish equivalent is SCSWIS) about the assessment of risk in services, and how this risk impacts on the inspection regime.  There are lessons for all providers of care and support services about how they ensure their services are of good quality and are delivered within an organisation wide culture of respect and dignity for all.  And there are social lessons about allowing people who have learning disabilities to live in such large group settings that can encourage the kind of institutional behaviour that allowed the actions of staff filmed by Panorama to be tolerated for so long.

Now that this abuse has been exposed, it is reassuring to see that the relevant authorities, including the Police, are taking robust action against the individuals concerned.  This too will send a message that the abuse of vulnerable people will not be tolerated in our society.

  
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