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CQC statement on the conclusion of the Atlas Project trials
Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, welcomed the sentences handed down by the court.
“Atlas and a large number of their staff utterly failed in their duty to look after the people in their care. No-one should be subject to the degrading abuse people experienced and I am glad that the perpetrators have been recognised for the criminals they are.
"When CQC inspected Veilstone in October 2011, inspectors were so concerned by the treatment they discovered that they quickly extended the inspection to all 15 of the services run by Atlas. We found serious concerns in most of their care homes, including the routine use of excessive restrictive practices which is why we took action which led to the closure of all of these services in 2012.
“Much has changed since 2011. When these abusive practices were discovered, CQC took decisive action but we should have responded more quickly to the concerns raised earlier by someone using the service. Since then we have overhauled our regulatory approach; improved the monitoring of services and the way we respond to safeguarding concerns; introduced a new and more thorough inspection process; increased the numbers of people with learning disabilities involved in our inspections; and strengthened our enforcement processes. We have also worked with The Challenging Behaviour Foundation on the issue of restraint and we now subject services where staff frequently resort to restrictive interventions to much tougher scrutiny than we did five years ago.
"The end of these trials is a chilling reminder that we must all remain vigilant to support and protect people in vulnerable circumstances who have every right to live their lives to the full, free from fear and treated with dignity and respect."
Thirteen people have been convicted after an inquiry into 'organised and systemic' abuse at two Devon care homes for adults with learning disabilities. The incidents took place at Veilstone, near Bideford, and its sister home Gatooma, near Holsworthy.
- Last updated:
- 8 June 2017