A BBC Panorama investigation, broadcast this week, found evidence that staff were bullying and assaulting residents daily. Four staff from the hospital have been arrested and 13 have been suspended.
Terry Bryan, a former nurse at the hospital for people with learning difficulties, said that both the care home's management and the Care Quality Commission, the regulator, had failed to act on his "grave" concerns about the behaviour of staff.
Paul Burstow, the social care minister, yesterday described the levels of abuse as "appalling" and ordered a review into why the regulator ignored the concerns raised by Mr Bryan. The Care Quality Commission admitted that it had made an "unforgivable error of judgment".
We need worldview awareness when we read stories like this.
Immediately I think about Peter Singer.
Peter Singer is a famous and influential Australian philosopher. He is a committed atheist. Perhaps he is most famous for his book Animal Liberation.
Singer completely dismisses the biblical teaching that we are made in the image and likeness of God. He asserts that this view is guilty of species bigotry. For a secular thinker like Singer it is arrogant and false to assert that humans are better than ‘other animals’. In the light of Darwinian evolution we must embrace species egalitarianism. At the end of the day there is nothing special about human beings. We are just one of many species thrown up by the evolutionary process.
So people with learning difficulties are not special. Some aren't even persons. And if we believe this deep down – nursing care will be profoundly affected.