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BBC Panorama: named best documentary at the Broadcasting Press Guild awards

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An undercover BBC investigation exposing "aggressive bullying and frequent abuse" at a Bristol residential hospital has been named the best documentary of 2011 by the Broadcasting Press Guild - a group of more than 120 journalists covering the media industry.

The Panorama episode, Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed, was broadcast last May and saw reporter Joe Casey film undercover for five weeks after getting a job as a support worker at Winterbourne View hospital, which treats people with mental disabilities.

The hospital was closed down after the abuse revelations were broadcast, and police have charged 11 people in connection with the documentary.

Writing about his experience last year, Casey said: "On a near-daily basis, I watched as some of the very people entrusted with the care of society's most vulnerable targeted patients - often, it seemed, for their own amusement. They are scenes of torment that are not easily forgotten.

"At the end of [a] horrific day of abuse, I was the only one in the group of support workers who was not taking part.

"I was watching on the sidelines, resisting putting a stop to this and blowing my cover.

"I had to resist my instinct to step in. I was there to gather the evidence that could help save others from a similar fate."

The Broadcasting Press Guild awarded best documentary series to the BBC's Frozen Planet. Radio programme of the year went to the BBC Radio 4 series, Archive on 4.

The awards will be presented this lunchtime at a ceremony in London.

The BPG includes journalists who specialise in covering television, radio and the media in general - from the major national newspapers, broadcasters and B2B titles.

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