We Must Stop Organisational Abuse of Adults with Learning Disabilities

Thirteen people have been convicted after an inquiry into abuse at two care homes for adults with learning disabilities.

Directors and staff at Veilstone near Bideford and Gatooma near Holsworth, in Devon were accused of creating a culture of abuse where residents were punished by effective imprisonment in empty rooms with no toilets, food or heating.

This case has similarities to the Longcare Enquiry in 1994 where the horrific abuse of adults with learning difficulties took place at two residential homes in south Buckinghamshire. There are also similarities in the shocking abuse of adults with learning disabilities exposed at Winterbourne View by Panorama in 2011.

The scale of abuse at Veilstone and Gatooma in Devon is a reminder of these horrific cases. We hoped to never see anything like this happen again.

This controlling and abusive treatment will have lasting and devastating traumatic effects and will always stay with the victims.

We cannot let this happen again. We must learn from all of these cases, from the families and from victims at Veilstone and Gatooma care homes to stop the horrific organisational abuse of people with learning disabilities.

At the Ann Craft Trust, we believe everyone has the right to be treated with respect and dignity and everyone deserves to be safe. Lessons must be learned so that no more people with learning disabilities suffer in this way at the hands of people who have been recruited to care and support them.

Deborah Kitson, ACT CEO

The Ann Craft Trust can offer training, advice, information and consultancy to all those who share our commitment to safeguarding disabled children and adults at risk.


For more information on this press release please contact Deborah Kitson, CEO or Abra Millar, Marketing Officer for the Ann Craft Trust

Email: deborah.kitson@nottingham.ac.uk  Tel: 0115 951 5400

Email: abra.millar@nottingham.ac.uk  Tel: 0115 951 5400

About the Ann Craft Trust

Through training, reviews and contributing to world-leading research, we support organisations to safeguard disabled children and adults at risk and minimise the risk of harm.

Our work is dedicated to key issues affecting disabled children and adults at risk including forced marriage, financial abuse and sexual exploitation and disability hate crime.

As independent experts, we have the ability to lead change. We guide legislation and policy and have worked with many government and non-government bodies including the Forced Marriage Unit, the Department of Health and Sport England to ensure everyone’s right to be safe.