Care home inquiry 'not ruled out'
A full independent inquiry into the abuse of residents at a care home for people with learning disabilities has not been ruled out, the Government has said.
Amid Labour criticism that existing investigations did not go far enough, care services minister Paul Burstow insisted that a criminal inquiry must not be prejudiced.
Two more people were arrested on Monday over the controversy at Winterbourne View residential home in Gloucestershire, where BBC's Panorama filmed patients being pinned down, slapped, doused in cold water and repeatedly taunted and teased.
Mr Burstow announced that Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring had been called in to help officials at the Department of Health investigate the findings of inquiries by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog and the local council.
But he said the Government wanted to have all the facts of the case before deciding whether to order a full independent review.
Answering an urgent question from Labour in the Commons, he said: "For the avoidance of doubt, we have not ruled out an independent inquiry. A criminal investigation is under way and it is important that we do nothing that could prejudice it."
He added: "Once in possession of the full facts and once the police investigation has concluded, we will be in a position to decide what further action is required."
Avon and Somerset Police said they arrested two women on Monday. The women, aged 21 and 22, have since been released on bail.
Last week, another woman and three men were arrested and released on bail.
The CQC issued an unreserved apology last week for failing to act on warnings by whistleblower Terry Bryan about abuse at the home.