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Thursday, June 02, 2011

Panorama: the shocking abuse of patients with autism and learning difficulties

Panorama: most people in the UK will have learned of and been horrified by the scandalous and criminal abuse of young patients in a British 'hospital' that purported to be a suitable residence for the care of these patients, some autistic, some with learning difficulties. In fact, it was for them effectively a locked prison in which they were physically and mentally abused by some of the 'carers'/gaolers, led by a bully who took pleasure in taunting and assaulting them. Most people in this country are aware of widespread, inhuman treatment of elderly patients in some hospitals and care homes, but the special extra horror that Panorama has revealed to us this week is this secret abuse of young, vulnerable patients.

But for Panorama's investigative journalist embedded in the hospital/prison and his video record of the assaults, the chilling probability is that those young victims would have spent the rest of their lives being tortured by warped 'carers' such as were seen in the programme last Monday. Because the shameful accompanying facts of the matter are that the abuse was repeatedly reported to the Care Quality Commission by a whistle-blower who had formerly worked at the hospital, but his evidence was ignored. - Ignored! - The poor victims have no voice themselves because tragically their complaints are routinely and automatically discounted as it is assumed that what they say cannot be relied on to be true.

Panorama has saved them from the continuance of great and unnecessary suffering: Panorama - not the managers of the hospital, not the CEO of the parent company, not - Perish the thought! - the indolent, unconcerned and negligent apology for a regulatory body, the Care Quality Commission! - And herein, in my opinion, is the most scary fact of all: that the highly-paid regulators were as useless to these tortured young people as a chocolate teapot...