An undercover probe by BBC’s panorama found poor care in one of England’s largest care homes, resulting in one member of staff being sacked and seven suspended.
Filming at the Old Deanery in Essex has revealed that some residents were being taunted, roughly handled and one was even slapped. The home has said it was “shocked and saddened by the allegations”.
Secret filming by the BBC’s Panorama has discovered, through an undercover reporter over 36 shifts, that:
• a woman slapped by a care worker who had previously been complained about for her poor attitude towards residents
• the same woman, who has dementia and is partially paralysed after a stroke, was also repeatedly mocked and taunted by other care workers
• cries for assistance from a resident suffering a terminal illness ignored as she sought help for the toilet, and her call bell for assistance left unplugged on one occasion
• a resident bed-ridden with a chronic illness left lying in his own excrement after two care workers turned off his call bell without assisting him
The reporter, Alex Lee, said she saw “many good care workers trying their best” but also saw some staff “mock, goad, taunt, roughly handle and ignore” the older people in their care.
Anglia Retirement Homes Ltd, which runs the Old Deanery, said the incidents involved a “small number of staff” and were not reflective of the high standards of care it demanded.
A statement said: “As soon as the new management team was made aware of the allegations we took immediate action. We hired an independent law firm to carry out a full investigation as a matter of urgency. Eight staff were immediately suspended, and have not returned to work, pending a full inquiry. Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our residents and we have more than 200 dedicated members of staff who remain committed to the highest standards of care. The care worker responsible for slapping a resident has been summarily dismissed.”
Panorama: Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed on BBC One on Wednesday 30 April at 21:00
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