Eight years on from the Winterbourne View inquiry, and still incidents of abhorrent abuse of people with learning disabilities are being uncovered. Most recently the appalling events at Whorlton Hall exposed by Panorama demonstrate that lessons have not been learnt.
While this scandal must be properly investigated, there is no time to waste with another major inquiry. Instead, the recommendations of the Winterbourne View inquiry must be fully implemented, including strengthening inspections and regulation of hospitals and care homes and ensuring that all care for vulnerable people, including children and young people, is of the very highest quality.
At the RCPCH, as an action from the Winterbourne View review, the Department of Health funded us to develop Disability Matters. This suite of resources aims to encourage more positive attitudes to disabled people – it's specifically for those who work or volunteer with disabled children and young people across all sectors and services.
Changing negative attitudes and educating people is a vital step towards preventing such abuse of some of the most vulnerable in society.
After all, if as a society we are failing our most vulnerable, then surely we are a failing society.