Mental Health: Watchdog goes undercover in care homes following BBC Panorama footage.

Former care home workers have been convicted for neglecting ‘mental health’ patients after throwing away their medications’.

Several former staff members were arrested based on footage following , BBC Panorama programme, the brutal footage showed members of staff abusing and taking advantage of patients.

Following an alleged patient abuse, Whorlton Hill Cygnet Care home has been investigated.

According to the Durham constabulary , it has now been confirmed three women and seven men have been taken into custody following connection of the undercover recording, which blatantly shows serious violence towards patients at Cygnet Health Care.

On Friday 24 May 2019, Police mentioned that the locations of the arrests were: Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle, Stockton and Darlington. Thereafter, officers questioned former members of staff relating to the neglect and abuse.

After the programme was released on the 21st May 2019, sixteen staff have been suspended by the hospital. The Local Police authorities mentioned that are seeking information from the production team on BBC Panorama, to gather the sufficient evidence required .        

According to another incident at  Maidstone Magistrates’ Court, Susan McIntosh admitted a number of offences, she was also given an 18-month suspended sentence.


Cygnet, is the UK’s largest, mental health private health care provider, which had taken over Whorlton Hall  hospital in January, then  closed. Since then Cygnet transferred about a dozen patients to other hospitals.

Tomorrow Paul Lelliott, will have to give evidence about previous inspections of Whorlton Hall, for an inquiry on human rights on behalf of Parliament’s joint committee of people with learning disabilities or autism. Nevertheless, Ian Trenholm has been summoned as he is CQC’s chief executive. Barry Stanley- Wilkinson from the CQC wrote accurate information, about his finding at Whorlton Hall in 2015.

 Following the report, Head Office had rewritten the original unpublished report, and rewrote it. However, the complaints that were written, were excluded and not shelved.

The data which was held by Whorlton Hall in 2015, reports that members of staff had not completed the training, there was no discharge date for their care plan, whereas staff did not pay attention to their needs, it was also a big concern because their risk assessments were out of date.

Parlisa from Lambeth London, says: that people should be checked if the are on drugs or intoxicated should be checked before the work.

Concerns that Mr Trenholm mentioned based on the inspection in 2015, were classed as “insufficient evidence”, after the care home was inspected again. However, the previous findings in 2015, were incorporated into the report for 2016. The committee apologised and admitted, that there was vital information missing, on activities at Whorlton Hall.

An independent review has been conducted by CQC to instruct David Noble, a lawyer, on how to respond to Mr Stanley-Wilkinson’s concerns, and why they were not published. The regulators of the interim report prolonged seclusion and segregation with people that suffer with mental health, autism and learning disabilities. Complaints were made that patients were poorly treated in units that are secure, and that members of staff where failing to achieve specialist training.

An anonymous worker Cygnet work says: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the allegations made against members of staff at Whorlton Hall, part of the Danshell Group, which Cygnet recently acquired.

This appalling behaviour is entirely inconsistent with Cygnet Health Care’s values and high standards and we remain absolutely committed to delivering the highest quality healthcare, which our patients and residents expect and deserve.”

Sean Mitchell from Lambeth, (had two sides of his verdict ). Sean says “if it was funded properly this would not happened”

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