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Independents' Day

Investigation into GP role in Winterbourne View care home abuse

GMC leaders told the Commons Health Committee they are tracking down doctors who had contact with the Bristol hospital for people with learning disabilities, after a Panorama investigation exposed systematic abuse to patients. The hospital, run by private provider Castlebeck, buys in GP services as part of a care package for its 24 patients.

Paul Philip, GMC deputy chief executive, told MPs: ‘There must have been doctors in the vicinity. We are working with Castlebeck, the police and the Care Quality Commission to identify those doctors. So far we have a few names and we will be looking to follow that up.'

Mr Philip's comments came in response to Stephen Dorrell MP, chair of the health committee, who said a GMC investigation would ‘send a powerful message into the system' on professional accountability. GMC guidance states that doctors have a duty to act if they witness evidence of malpractice.

Mike Forster, lay secretary of Gloucestershire LMC, said: ‘We would support the GMC in investigating this case. It depends on the circumstances if any action needs to be taken but the programme that exposed the abuse showed no signs of doctors being present.'

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