In July 2006 a report found that people with a learning disability living in services in Cornwall were being abused.
- People were being physically abused by staff supposed to be caring for them. They were punched, kicked and dragged along the floor.
- People were forced to go without food and have cold showers.
- People were having their money taken.
- One person spent 16 hours a day tied to their bed or wheelchair.
- Medication was used to keep people easily controlled.
Campaigners in East Cornwall Mencap got the inspectors to listen to their concerns in 2004, and the Healthcare Commission went in to find out what was happening.
But the abuse had been going on for years. Despite looking at services in Cornwall, inspectors had not noticed the abuse before. Learning disability services were not looked at, and senior managers who were in charge of the services did not spend any time checking they were doing the job properly.
The abuse found in Cornwall led to an investigation of learning disability services across the country. They found services were old fashioned, and not up to standard, and that people with a learning disability were still at risk from abuse.