Vow to protect ex-residents of scandal home
MORE needs to be done to protect former Winterbourne View residents, the government was told yesterday.
Ministers admitted the episode was an intolerable "national scandal" and vowed to correct it.
Health Minister Norman Lamb was summoned to the Commons to respond to an urgent question on the scandal after a follow-up Panorama investigation revealed fresh concerns.
Last week six people were jailed for their role in abuse at the private hospital, near Bradley Stoke.
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Mr Lamb told MPs: "What has been exposed by Panorama is utterly intolerable and has to come to an end.
"I am absolutely determined when I make the final response for the Government by the end of November that it will be robust and clear and that everyone understands what has to happen.
"Years and years of public money being spent on putting people into inappropriate settings, often putting them at risk of abuse – this is a national scandal and it has to end."
Labour's Shadow Minister Liz Kendall, who triggered the urgent debate, said there were "serious concerns" about whether the government had taken all necessary action.
Jack Lopresti, the Tory MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, said: "We know that on previous occasions, South Gloucestershire council and Avon and Somerset police received countless alerts, but if it had not been for the BBC and Panorama, we would never have found out about this issue. When I saw the programme last night, I was appalled that patients can be moved hundreds of miles without their families – and their parents in particular – being told. I thought that was an outrage."
Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy said care homes were closing in Bristol, while care was being outsourced in South Gloucestershire.
She said: "Following the case of Winterbourne View, which is just outside my constituency, there is a lack of confidence in the area in the private sector."
Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore called for a starred grading system for care suppliers.