The spreading CQC Whorlton Hall scandal – emerging allegations at ‘Outstanding’ Newbus Grange. Another CQC deception?

By Dr Minh Alexander, NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist, 20 June 2019


 Summary: Newbus Grange is another former Castlebeck-Danshell learning disability facility, which CQC inexplicably gave a pass despite staff convictions for abuse against patients and other matters.

The former deputy manager of Newbus became the manager of Whorlton Hall in 2017.

Following recent exposure of serious abuse against patients at Whorlton Hall by BBC Panorama, the police arrested ten members of staff.

A CQC cover up about Whorlton Hall has been exposed by Barry Stanley-Wilkinson, CQC whistleblower and former lead inspector.

According to Darlington, Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees CCGs’ minutes of May 2019 there is also emerging serious Safeguarding concern about alleged physical abuse at ‘Outstanding’ Newbus Grange.

The CQC is a dangerous organisation which needs to be abolished. Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care has called for a properly independent inquiry into whether it is fit for purpose.


In 2011 the Winterbourne View scandal was unmasked by BBC Panorama and CQC was forced to review all the properties owned by Castlebeck, the company which ran Winterbourne View.

CQC was forced to concede in July 2011 that there were  serious systemic issues across the whole chain, but it claimed that Newbus Grange was fine:

“Newbus Grange is compliant with essential standards. We have not requested any follow up action.”

This was despite a Newbus Grange worker being jailed for eight months in February 2010 for an assault on a highly vulnerable patient, whilst observed to be laughing:

Ex-soldier jailed for attack on disabled man

Not long after CQC gave Newbus Grange the all clear, Castlebeck itself suspended some Newbus Grange staff over allegations of abuse and drug misuse.

Darlington-based care provider, Castlebeck, sacks and suspends staff in mistreatment probe

In 2014 a Newbus Grange worker was convicted of theft from the patients:

Care home worker escapes jail after stealing more than £3,000 from vulnerable residents

And yet CQC still awarded Newbus Grange a rating of ‘Outstanding’.

The CQC considered that Newbus Grange was outstandingly well-led.

Newbus Grange Outstanding


Newbus Grange’s deputy manager Chris Shield won an award:

Chris Shield Nurse of the Year cached web page


By April 2017 he was promoted to manager of Whorlton Hall:

Chris Shield tweet by recognition PR about promotion


We know now that the CQC covered up a 2015 inspection report by Barry Stanley-Wilkinson on Whorlton Hall  which detailed wide-ranging and serious care failures which effectively amounted to institutional abuse. For example, Barry Stanley-Wilkinson and colleagues considered that staff at Whorlton Hall were so lacking in therapeutic skills that this provoked needless incidents and a high level of physical restraint:

“Staff demonstrated little understanding of autism, communication needs or recognised best practice. This contributed to a limited understanding of individual needs. As a result, there were high levels of restraint and restrictive practice to manage difficult and complex behaviour.”

We also now know that the matter went as far up as Paul Lelliott the CQC Deputy Chief Inspector and CQC lead for mental health. Given the political ramifications of ex-Castlebeck facilities and all things whistleblower-related, I think it is almost certain that the matter went all the way up the CQC chain of command.

Barry Stanley-Wilkinson had an unhappy experience of whistleblowing to the CQC, as evident from 2016 internal correspondence.

Most seriously, published papers of Darlington, Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees CCGs of 22 May 2019 report that there is a serious emerging Safeguarding concern about physical abuse at Newbus Grange: 

“111.8 Ms Golightly advised of an emerging concern at Newbus Grange, a Danshell / Cynet property, with serious safeguarding concerns relating to physical abuse.”

 This is not surprising. CQC’s sins were always going to find them. But such outcomes are beyond tragedy for the patients and families who are harmed and terrorised by CQC’s unforgivable, despicable derelictions of duty.

Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care has called for a properly independent inquiry into whether CQC is fit for purpose.



Counting the cost of the CQC: Abuse, Whorlton Hall and CQC spin doctors

CQC Whorlton Hall Cover Up: More CQC responses & culpability

Danshell Wallace Hospital: ‘Disgust as Dundee hospital boss cleared to work despite stealing watch from patient’

Margaret Henderson ‘Former CQC manager appointed to St.Andrews’ 24 October 2018

Covering up cover ups: CQC’s revisionism

Breach of confidentiality by CQC and complicity in referring a whistleblower to the Disclosure and Barring Service

Whistleblowers in Their Own Words: What’s wrong with UK whistleblowing law and how it needs to change




4 thoughts on “The spreading CQC Whorlton Hall scandal – emerging allegations at ‘Outstanding’ Newbus Grange. Another CQC deception?

  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    When foxes are running the hen house at taxpayers expense to boot, the trail of corruption leads right back to stealth privatisation of social care and health and commodification of the vulnerable by greedy politicians. Bevan would be spinning in his grave! Time for an objectively independent public inquiry not a cover-up.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can only repeat what I have drawn attention to in previous posts – the quality of personnel in old systems which have been gamed for the benefit of those I would not wish to associate with.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cqc are a total waste of time. I have reported to them on 3 occasions abuse to my son in a mental health hospital. Not only have they not investigated it they have totally ignored my correspondence and will not acknowledge it. Shame on them.

    Liked by 2 people

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