Smirking care staff caught on camera attacking vulnerable autistic patients in undercover operation

Smirking care staff caught on camera attacking vulnerable autistic patients in undercover operation

Horrifying undercover footage has emerged of care home staff subjecting a young and vulnerable patient with autism to 'psychological torture'.

The video also shows the staff members boasting about assaulting their patients. In fact, an alarming total of eight workers told Olivia Davies, an undercover journalist, that they had intentionally hurt patients in their care.

Warning: the footage contains distressing scenes:

In one part of the investigation, six male employees can be seen holding down a woman with severe learning difficulties for about 30 minutes.

abuse of vulnerable patients Credit: BBC / Panorama

Following the investigation, as shown on BBC’s Panorama last night, 16 members of staff at Whorlton Hall high dependency complex in Durham, England, were suspended while police have meanwhile launched an inquiry.

Davies, who spent two months at the facility as a carer, had filmed the distressing scenes with a hidden camera.

One of the abuse victims was 20-year-old Alex, an autism patient who had been sectioned under the mental health act and was known to fear men. Despite the fact that it had been arranged so that Alex would only be looked after by women, the female staff are deliberately sent away when she becomes upset.

abuse of vulnerable patients Credit: BBC / Panorama

When the men are alone with the patient, they begin taunting her which only fuels her anxious behaviour. When an employee finds out that Alex finds balloons upsetting, he hits one into her room and threatens to get even more.

"It is like psychological torture because she is stuck there, she can’t get away," Prof Glynis Murphy, of Kent University, commented on the incident.

One of the workers boasted that attacking a patient resulted in a "big lump on the back of his head".

Another reveals that he intentionally hit a patient running past him in the chest.