I've said nothing here about the Panorama programme so far, but it had a real emotional impact on us. Our son is rather more disabled than those who were abused and victimized. He's actually more vulnerable than they were.
I'm fairly certain he isn't taken advantage of, mainly because both service providers welcome us into sharing his care and even when he's with them, we frequently just turn up unannounced to do practical things - new clothes in his wardrobe, pick up a piece of equipment for fixing or just to see him.
This didn't make viewing Panorama any easier. We could have peopled that unit with very similar friends of his who we know well. I don't think they're being abused, but they don't all have families looking out for them - how would I know? CQC was obviously no help.
It was a strange mix of emotions that I'm only now beginning to get sorted out. There was a big element of pain/distress - I didn't cry because there was too much else milling around. There was considerable anger - I could comfortably have taken the law into my own hands if I'd been there. There was real fear mixed in with it - it made me doubt others care quality that I'd assumed was OK. There were mixed emotions about the role of the reporter - he'd made it public but stood by and let it happen.
I can react to this abomination on a practical emotional level - I can hate the people who did this, I can despise the company that let it happen, I can berate CQC for not intervening. But I still don't know how I feel about the whole thing myself - obviously my feelings are very negative, but there's an awful lot of numbness there as well. I'd like to not believe it had happened, but it did. And it could so easily have been my son.