This is a guest post from the brilliant Mark Neary. He's dad and fierce advocate to his son Stephen and he tweets at @Markneary1
This morning he posted a blog in the week that saw the sentencing for those 11 abusers from Winterbourne View, who in the opinion of many received extremely light sentences for their campaign of hate crime torture against the learning disabled patients in their care.
Winterbourne View, was owned by Castlebeck and this culture of abuse highlighted by @whistlebloco finally came to an end after the Panorama secret filming exposed the horrors contained within the walls of that private hospital. It was a shameful episode of repeated failures and it shamed those nurses paid to care for the patients.
Now read this part from Mark's blog "And The Winner Is……..Not The Learning Disabled, That’s For Sure"
"This week saw the sentencing of the 11 workers involved in the horrific abuse at Winterbourne View. The sentences ranged from two years to community service; derisory sentences for horrible crimes. And sadly, it shows once again that the learning disabled draw a very short straw when it comes to access to justice.
What of Castlebeck, the owners of Winterbourne View? Well, not a lot actually. After the sentencing of their staff, the company issued the following statement:“Castlebeck welcomes the finalisation of the legal process concerning the wholly unacceptable and criminal behaviour witnessed at Winterbourne View.
When those events at Winterbourne View Independent Hospital were exposed in May 2011, the board and the company’s then Chief Executive expressed their unequivocal and unreserved regret to the service users involved and their families.
They also gave a clear commitment to protect the safety and well-being of all those who use Castlebeck’s services and swift and decisive action was taken as soon as the allegations were raised almost 18 months ago”.Which I think, roughly translated means: “Ha ha ha. Phew, got out of that one. Now fuck off, we’ve got profits to count”.
These sort of statements are so much part of our culture now, that they have become meaningless. They are written by committee and I don’t think either the author or the reader/listener understands or believes a word of them.
If that statement doesn’t stick in the throat, what follows causes a severe nauseous attack. It was announced this week that Castlebeck are sponsoring an award at this year’s Royal College of Nursing awards. And not just any old award – they are sponsoring the learning disability nurse of the year award. I swear to God, when I read that, I thought I’d stumbled across an episode of The Thick of It. Brass neck doesn’t even come close.
So, that was the week that was. The residents of Winterbourne View and their families will get on with healing the scars of their awful experience; the 11 staff will get on with the business of prison/community service life. And the Castlebeck managers will be dusting off their tuxedos in preparation for a gala awards ceremony"You can read the rest of Mark's blog here the original Royal College of Nurses statement about Winterbourse View from their website here and their forthcoming awards via The RCN publishing company here scroll down and it's there.
Yet another slap in the face for the patients of Winterbourne View but this time it's a metaphorical one