Intended for healthcare professionals


Winterbourne report: long term hospital beds for people with learning disabilities to end by 2014

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 11 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8431
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The Department of Health for England has pledged to move as many people as possible with a learning disability or autism out of inpatient hospital care and into care in a community setting.

The commitment was made in the department’s final report into the neglect and abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View Hospital in Bristol, which was published yesterday.1 The abuse at the hospital was uncovered last year by the BBC’s Panorama programme.2

The minister for care and support services, Norman Lamb, told a press conference: “I thought we had addressed the problem of institutionalised care some time ago, then you discover that it is quietly going up again.”

A “complete culture change” in society was needed, he said. “Would we ever tolerate someone with …

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