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Research and Account Essay

Report One: Old Deanery care home

One staff member has been sacked and seven suspended from one of England’s largest care homes after an undercover probe by BBC Panorama found poor care. The filming at the Old Deanery in Essex showed some residents being taunted, roughly handled and one was slapped. The home said it was “shocked and saddened by the allegations”. Care minister Norman Lamb described the images as “absolutely disgusting” and said there “could be a role” for the use of CCTV in care homes. Care Quality Commission figures seen by the BBC show over a third of homes that received warning notices since 2011 still do not meet basic standards. Allegations of poor care and mistreatment at the 93-bed home in Braintree, where residents pay roughly £700 per week, were first raised by 11 whistle-blowers in August 2012.

Essex County Council put it on special measures for three months until concerns were addressed. But secret filming by Panorama’s undercover reporter over 36 shifts found many of the same sorts of issues reported a year earlier, including: 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

Report Two: Winterbourne view care home

The 11 defendants – nine support workers and two nurses – admitted 38 charges of either neglect or ill-treatment of five people with severe learning difficulties after being secretly recorded by a reporter for the BBC’s Panorama programme They were filmed slapping extremely vulnerable residents, soaking them in water, trapping them under chairs, taunting and swearing at them, pulling their hair and poking their eyes. Whistle-blower Terry Bryan, a former nurse at the home, contacted the BBC after his warnings were ignored by Castlebeck Ltd, which owned the hospital, and care watchdogs. Hours of graphic footage recorded during a five-week, undercover BBC investigation in February and March last year, showed one support worker, Wayne Rogers, telling a resident: “Do you want me to get a cheese grater and grate your face off? Do you want me to turn you into a giant pepperoni?”

Rogers slapped another resident across the cheek, saying: “Do you want a scrap? Do you want a fight? Go on and I will bite your bloody face off.” His colleague Alison Dove was recorded saying a resident “loved pain”, then saying to the resident: “Simone, come here and I’ll punch your face.” Dove threatened another resident when she broke a window in the lounge with a chair. She was recorded snarling: “Listen, in future I’m going to let you sit on the fucking floor, ‘cos you don’t deserve a chair.”

On another occasion, Dove, Graham Doyle and Holly Draper restrained a female resident as a fourth member of staff, Sookalingum Appoo, forced a paracetamol tablet into her mouth. Later, during the same incident, Doyle put on a mock-German accent and, mimicking a Nazi guard, slapped the resident over the head with his gloves shouting: “Nein, nein, nein, nein.” The Panorama investigation, which was screened in May 2011, led to a serious case review two months later, which criticised Darlington-based Castlebeck Ltd for “putting profits before humanity”.

These reports show that safeguarding of the individuals involved should have been enforced. The failings to do with this incident could have been due to the fact that the care home’s were:

under staffed
over worked
language barriers
not had up-to-date training
trained in dementia
a better approach to safeguarding across agencies
a better system for flagging concerns and referrals
better information sharing

A most recent report from CQC on 1st April 2014 shows that overall, providing care, treatment and support that meets people’s needs and staffing, required improvement. The Old Deanery also had a CQC report from June 2012 which showed staffing problems and when residents pressed their bells in their rooms, they were waiting a long time until they were attended to. This shows that these issues were not addressed. Also the staff employed at The Old Deanery care home ignored or failed to recognise the individual’s rights and need for protection. There was poor communication, planning, coordination and thoughtlessness which left each individual in an abusive and dangerous situation.

The government review found as well as reports from the police, the CQC and the local NHS drew the following conclusions, to Winterbourne View’s case:

Patients stayed at winerbourne view for too long and were too far from home- the average length of stay was 19 months. Almost half of patients were more than 40 miles away from, where their family or primary careers lived. There was extremely high rate of ‘physical intervention’- well over 500 reported cases of restraint in a fifteen month period. Multiple agencies failed to pick up on key warning signs-nearly 150 separate incidents- including A&E visits by patients,police attendance at the hospital, and safeguarding concerns reported to the local council- which could and should have raised the alarm. There was clear management failure at the hospital- with no registered manager in place, substandard recruitment processes and limited staff training. A ‘closed and punitive’ culture had developed- families and other visitors were not allowed access to the top floor wards and patient bedrooms, offering little chance for outsiders to see daily routines at the hospital.

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