09 JUN 2011

MP calls for closure of disgraced care home

Local MP Jack Lopresti has called for the closure of Winterbourne View hospital and an independent review into what led to the serious failures in patient care.

Jack said:

"I believe the right course of action is for the permanent closure of Winterbourne View Hospital.

After seeing the Panorama documentary last week and sharing in the revulsion and horror felt throughout the country it strikes me that the abuse is likely to have been going on for quite some time – the situation is untenable.

I will be meeting with the Chief Executive of Castlebeck shortly to suggest that the company permanently closes Winterbourne View at the earliest opportunity.

I am aware that South Glos Council are taking this issue very seriously and have instigated a Serious Case Review.

The Review will examine the effectiveness of the safeguarding system and processes as they applied to Winterbourne View Hospital.

Today I have been in contact with Cllr John Calway Leader of the Council and will be monitoring the situation as it progresses.

I am aware that the Council will be making a full statement on this issue tomorrow.

I am also calling for an independent inquiry into why such serious failures occurred and what lessons can be learnt to ensure the abuse at Winterbourne View Hospital never happens again. I believe that a truly independent inquiry is needed to restore the public faith in the care system.

I have met with the Care Services Minister and am pleased that the Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring has been asked to help officials at the Department of Health investigate the findings of inquiries by the Care Quality Commission watchdog and South Gloucestershire Council. This I believe is a step in the right direction however I still feel that a wider-ranging and completely independent inquiry is vital to preventing these tragic events repeating themselves elsewhere."

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Jack Lopresti: Thank you for your excellent chairmanship, Mr Evans. I thank all hon. Members from across the House for their support today on this important and crucially timed debate. I am grateful for the Minister’s summing up remarks, in which he reaffirmed the British Government’s commitment to the people of Gibraltar and their sovereignty and freedom, and to working towards the best...

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Jack Lopresti: My hon. Friend is talking about the NATO context. Yes, Spain ought to be a friendly country and an ally. We are duty-bound and treaty-bound by article 5 to come to its defence. If it were attacked by an external enemy, or any enemy, we would potentially send our people into harm’s way to defend it.