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Vigilance seminar for health staff

11 February 2013

Two UK experts are delivering a seminar for healthcare professionals today about vigilance. The seminar is called 'The Scandal of Winterbourne View Hospital: Lessons for Jersey' and it concentrates on the failures of care identified in the Winterbourne View Private Hospital in Hambrook, South Gloucestershire.
The private hospital was exposed in 2011 in a Panorama investigation into physical and psychological abuse suffered by people with learning disabilities and autism. The hospital was shut down and 11 members of staff at the hospital were convicted of almost 40 charges of neglect and ill treatment.
The seminar will consider the questions of why such abuse happens, why some staff speak out and others don’t, and the prevention of abuse. It will be delivered by Dr Margaret Flynn, Chair of the Serious Case Review of Winterbourne View Private Hospital and Chair of Lancashire Safeguarding Board; and Mr Richard Mills, Adviser to the States of Jersey on Autism, Research Director of the National Autistic Society and Research Autism, and Specialist Adviser to British Institute of Learning Disabilities on Physical Interventions, in the hospital’s Halliwell Theatre.
The seminar is intended for:
  • interested healthcare professionals from Health and Social Services (HSS)
  • parents of people with learning difficulties and autism
  • staff from local care homes
  • a number of colleagues from Guernsey

Assumpta Finn, lead for learning disabilities and autism at HSS said "We are not saying that this type of abuse is happening in Jersey, but constant vigilance about this issue, when we as professionals deal with some of the most vulnerable people in society, is absolutely essential. We know that this kind of abuse is appalling and distressing and there is no place for it in care, particularly as people in this group can’t speak out for themselves." 

Ms Finn added "We are very pleased to welcome Dr Flynn and Mr Mills to deliver this seminar to so many interested people, and hope that everyone leaves with a renewed awareness of this type of abuse, and all that can be done to stop it. Every healthcare organisation in Jersey, and the staff within those organisations, should aim to treat people with care and dignity, and seminars such as this might be disturbing, but they are essential reminders that we all have a role to play in ensuring such abuse never happens, and how those who might have concerns can raise them without fear."

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