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Delay in sentencing staff for abuse at Whorlton Hall

By Samantha Follows

Published In: Child Abuse

Four former members of staff at Whorlton Hall, who were due to be sentenced on 20 October 2023 for the ill treatment of patients, will now be sentenced in January 2024.

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The BBC carried out an investigation into allegations of abuse at Whorlton Hall at Barnard Castle, County Durham in 2019. The private hospital, which was also funded by the NHS, specialised in caring for patients with learning disabilities. Verbal abuse and mocking by staff was filmed by an undercover reporter over a two-month period and the shocking footage formed part of a Panorama programme broadcast in 2019.

 Shortly before the programme was shown the home was taken over by Cygnet Healthcare. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the home subsequently and, following a rating of ‘inadequate’, steps were taken to close the unit and move the patients to other placements.

A criminal investigation resulted in 10 members of staff at the home being arrested and on 27 April 2023 Matthew Banner, Peter Bennett, Ryan Fuller and John Sanderson were convicted and will be sentenced early next year.

The patients were highly vulnerable and dependant on the staff to care for them and meet their needs. It is clear from the programme, and subsequent criminal investigation, that some staff at the hospital failed to do this.

The abuse team at Switalskis has many years of experience in acting for clients bringing claims against individuals, care homes and other institutions.

 If you would like to speak to one of our experienced team of solicitors for advice, we can guarantee that you will be dealt with sensitively and with the utmost confidence.

You can contact Samantha Follows confidentially by email or call 0800 138 4700


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Samantha qualified as a Solicitor in 1996 and has worked in the area of Child Abuse Compensation for 22 years

Associate Solicitor

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