Urgent question on "simply appalling" situation at Whorlton Hall

23 May 2019

The Government has been asked to make a statement following a report on BBC's Panorama that showed mistreatment of vulnerable adults at Whorlton Hall specialist hospital

Whorlton Hall is a privately run, NHS funded specialist hospital in County Durham. The report revealed mistreatment of its patients with autism and special educational needs in manners that are compared to 'psychological torture'. 

Responding to the urgent question by Norman Lamb, the Health and Social Care Minister, Caroline Dinegage condemned the actions uncovered by the documentary, and outlined actions, including a criminal investigation, that would be undertaken to address events at Whorlton Hall. She said;

"One thing we can all be clear on is that what was shown last night was not care, nor was it in any way caring. […] We know the problems that exist in this system and we are utterly determined to address them."

Following the Minister's response, Norman Lamb called the situations "deeply shocking", and called for an investigation into the responsibility of provider and not just the individuals involved. He criticised the practice of housing vulnerable adults in residential units outside their communities and asked;

"Will there be substantial investment now in developing community facilities so that people with learning disability and autism have the chance of a good life that the rest of us take for granted."

Image: PC - Sholto Ramsay via Unsplash

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