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BBC film exposes care home abuse

Published on 30 April 2014 01:30 PM

An undercover investigation by BBC reporters at a care home in Essex has found that many residents were ignored, bullied or even left lying in their own excrement.


The report focused on the Old Deanery, a care home in Braintree with 93 beds where some residents pay up to £700 a week.

It was found that one older woman with dementia, who had been left partially paralysed after a stroke, was slapped in the face by a member of staff and mocked and taunted by other workers.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) visited the care home while the undercover filming took place in November last year and gave it a clean bill of health.

Inspectors identified a number of shortcomings

However, once the regulator was informed about the findings made by the reporters, inspectors returned to the site and identified a number of shortcomings, such as too few members of staff and long waiting times for residents who needed help or assistance.

The Old Deanery first came to the attention of the authorities two years ago after whistleblowers raised concerns over the quality of care.

The CQC and Essex County Council carried out an investigation into the claims and found 'woefully inadequate' staffing levels. They also said call bells took too long to be answered and put the care home into special measures for three months.

Anglia Retirement Homes said that it has now launched an independent inquiry, with eight members of staff immediately suspended, but stressed that the allegations do not reflect its high standards of care.

The report, Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed, will be shown on Wednesday night at 9pm on BBC One's Panorama.

'Every care home has a moral and professional duty of care'

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: ' Care homes are entrusted to care for some of the most frail and vulnerable older people in our society.

 'It is deeply distressing that yet another shocking story has come to light of older people who have been badly let down by a system that has failed to treat them with dignity and respect or protect them from abuse and neglect.

'Every care home has a moral and professional duty of care to their residents, they must make sure all staff are recruited and trained to deliver safe, dignified and compassionate care at all times.

'We need to raise standards and ensure that all older people and their families are involved in how the care home is run and are able to raise concerns about the quality of care confident that their views will be acted on.

'There must be effective regulation to prevent abuse, poor management and neglect and complaints and concerns need to be investigated swiftly and efficiently. These stories must stop - we need to stop failing our most vulnerable.'

Copyright Press Association 2014

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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