Two care home workers have been secretly filmed abusing and degrading a blind and elderly female resident with dementia. During the distressing incident at a care home based in Macclesfield, they ‘forcibly and unceremoniously’ dumped the woman onto her bed to clean her.
Prosecutors said that when the resident started to complain the member of staff threatened to ‘break every bone’ in her body, ‘kill’ her and drag her by the head to her bed. The resident was also physically abused as she was slapped across the face causing her to yelp in pain.
This incident was captured on secret CCTV cameras that had been installed by the victim’s daughter after she became concerned about her mother’s unexplained injuries. In the footage, from March 2017, the distressed victim is heard repeatedly crying and pleading to God for help.
At Chester Crown Court, both staff members admitted ill-treatment while working as care workers and were sentenced to nine months in prison. This was suspended for two years. They must also pay the victim £250 compensation each and order to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
The incident prompted an unannounced inspection by the Care Quality Commission which has downgraded the rating of the care home to ‘inadequate’. They identified problems with staffing, training and management at the care home as contributing factors to the care workers behaviour and subsequent offending.
Both defendants mitigated their initial training consisted of watching a series of DVDs then answering questions which they never got any feedback on. In addition, felt ‘out of depth’, not supported and bullied.
A representative from the home said: “We were shocked and appalled by the actions of these individuals, whose behaviour went against everything we stand for as an organisation.
“We have fully supported the police investigation and the successful prosecution of the two offenders, who we are pleased will now be prevented from working in a care setting again.
“We are disappointed the recent CQC report was used by the defence – this was a wholly unacceptable act by two rogue individuals that is not representative of the professional, caring and dedicated staff who work at the home.
“We are challenging the outcome of the CQC report, and strongly refute both its findings, and the related claims made by the offenders.
“We have apologised unreservedly to the affected family, who continue to support the home, the actions we have taken, and the overall standard of care we provide.
“The safety, health and wellbeing of the residents we care for is always at the forefront of everything we do, and we take a zero-tolerance approach to any behaviour which falls below the very highest standards of care.”
One Stop Social Views:
This is a shocking example of how care professionals can abuse their power of trust in what is a challenging, rewarding and caring profession. Work pressures have clearly contributed to their behaviours. Although, this in no way should minimise or mitigate their actions. What it does serve is to highlight the importance of appropriate staff recruitment, retention, training and management oversight/support. Quality support really does prevail in the long term.
Finally, we would also like to highlight that such behaviours are not a regular occurrence within the care sector. In most cases, the care sector community includes professionals that are compassionate, caring and professional in their delivery and support of services/provisions for those in need.
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