RCN withdraws Castlebeck sponsorship of learning disability award

Yesterday I and others blogged and tweeted about how a Royal College of Nursing award for learning disability nurses was being sponsored by Castlebeck, the company responsible for the Winterbourne View abuse scandal.

Today, the RCN announced that Castlebeck’s involvement has been withdrawn.

Castlebeck, the company that owns Winterbourne View hospital, will no longer be a sponsor of RCN Publishing’s 2013 Learning Disability Nursing Award.

RCN Publishing took the decision to accept sponsorship from Castlebeck last month based on the substantial developments within the company since the first Panorama television programme was shown 16 months ago.

However, the very strong reaction from many learning disability nurses across the country has led to RCN Publishing withdrawing from the sponsorship arrangement. 

In a statement, the Royal College of Nursing said: “The RCN supports the decision of RCN Publishing to withdraw from its sponsorship arrangement with Castlebeck, due to the strong feelings of some members, including the whistleblower Terry Bryan, given the serious crimes committed against vulnerable residents at Winterbourne View.”

While RCN Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the RCN, it is editorially independent.

In all fairness to Castlebeck, it appears that it’s been working hard to transform itself, sacking incompetent managers and bringing in proper clinicians. Even so, I don’t think the RCN should giving the company any leg-ups in trying to restore their reputation. They need to do that themselves.

2 thoughts on “RCN withdraws Castlebeck sponsorship of learning disability award

  1. I couldn’t agree more. With a screw up like that, they don’t deserve the easy way.

  2. I have first hand experience of working with C astlebeck group and witnessed their draconian management structure. I therefore do not accept that their can be any changes unless the organisation is dismantled.. I am very pleased that the Royal College of Nursing has rejected their sponsorship.Althaugh my time with them was very short I was not surprised by the Panorama revealations.In my experience of working within the NHS and later in the independant sector the Castlebeck group of hospital was the worst example of profitering and exploitation of vulnerable patients.

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