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News - 16 January 2013

MP urges Care Home abuse penalties for owners.

Lib Dem Paul Burstow says tougher laws are needed to ensure care providers are held criminally accountable for abuse and neglect on their premises.

The MP, who was care services minister until leaving the government in September, will outline proposed legislation in the Commons which he says would see justice done for future victims of abuse and their families

Peter Ham Auditor and Head of Schools and Charities at ABDS comments:
“Paul Burstow has stated that he did not want to see a repeat of the Winterbourne View care scandal that led to the conviction of six people for their role in abuse and neglect at the private hospital near Bristol, but for which he claimed there had been "no corporate accountability".

His proposals, which are likely to need government support if they are to become law, include:

  • Amending existing legislation to make a corporate body guilty of an offence if the way in which its activities are managed by its board or senior management neglects or is a substantial element in the existence and/or possibility of abuse or neglect
  • Offences should be punishable by unlimited fines, remedial orders and publicity orders
  • Those with relevant information about suspected abuse or neglect must supply information to Adult Safeguarding Boards if requested to do so.

Gary Fitzgerald, chief Executive of Action on Elder Abuse, which is supporting the MP's plans, said: "While it is right that abusing care workers should feel the full impact of the courts and sentencing, it is equally important that those who employ and direct those workers should also face justice.

Peter Ham continues:
“Norman Lamb, who succeeded Mr Burstow as care minister in September, has indicated that the government is prepared to look at criminal sanctions as one of a number of options.”

If you need any help and advice on Care Homes and Nursing Homes, contact Peter Ham, Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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