Crackdown On Care Homes

Monday, 3 September 2012  |  Admin

A court has heard that two women working in a Pontefract care home were guilty of ill-treatment and four counts of wrongly administering medicine, after being caught neglecting and manhandling one of their elderly patients. The two carers were caught committing vile acts of physical and verbal abuse after a worried family member set up a hidden spy camera in the room of her elderly mother. Ivy Robinson, who is 89-years-old, suffers from dementia and had to be helped in and out of bed by the carers, who were also in charge of managing her medication. The two women have been charged, with one sentenced to four months in prison and the other given a 12-month community order. 

The hidden spy camera was placed inside an alarm clock and positioned so that it was facing Mrs Robinson’s bed and seating area. The dementia sufferer’s family became worried as they started to notice bruises on Mrs Robinson’s hands on their daily visits. Whilst completely concealed, and left running for a five day period, the hidden camera managed to pick up a catalogue of maltreatment offences, including verbal abuse, using banned methods of lifting, and even mild assault in the form of shaking and hitting.

This is one of a number of cases brought to the public attention within the past few years,where concerned family members have installed their own secret surveillance devices in order to ensure their relatives are being properly treated. A Panorama documentary, which aired last year on BBC1, brought the issue to a much wider audience, and many more families have since felt the need to take precautions to ensure the safety and well being of their loved one. The amount of trust families must instil in a care home to look after their elderly or disabled relatives is huge, and the trust is in danger of being irreparably broken after a string of hidden cameras have revealed cases of neglect.

Mencap and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation, both independent charities, have voiced their concern over the treatment of elderly and disabled patients in care homes, and are taking important measures to ensure the number of similar cases is diminished. Investigations are under way at a number of care facilities, and in the meantime, undercover footage and using secret spy gadgets to capture gross neglect and maltreatment is a sure-fire way to increase the chances of a conviction against any carers who are not fulfilling their duties properly.

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