BBC Panorama Exposes abuse of the elderly

Jane Worroll secretly filmed her mother's room in Ash Court, London.

She recorded care worker Jonathan Aquino slapping her mother six times.

Aquino was convicted of assault. The CQC said the home still “ensures people who use the service are protected from abuse or the risk of abuse".

Prior to the assault, the CQC had rated the home as “excellent” .

Alarm clock camera

Ms Worroll placed a secret camera hidden in an alarm clock in her mother's bedroom, after suspecting she was being mistreated.

Maria Worroll suffers from Alzheimers and arthritis, and requires around-the-clock care.

Six weeks after her mother moved into Ash Court, Ms Worroll noticed bruises on her arms and legs.

She secretly filmed her bedroom on 17 and 21 June 2011.

The footage, acquired by BBC Panorama, shows care workers feeding Maria Worroll too quickly, manually rolling her over and hauling her roughly into bed – an action that should have been performed using a hoist.

Ms Worroll also filmed one care worker, Jonathan Aquino, slapping her mother six times.

She was deeply upset by the footage. She told Panorama: “[My mother] is just so vulnerable; she can't get up, she can't call for help. [The assault] is just totally sadistic.”

All five of the main carers Ms Worroll filmed were sacked. Jonathan Aquino was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison in April 2012.

Forest Healthcare, which manages the home, say the assault was an isolated incident, and that Ash Court is “committed to working closely with all families and residents” and that they receive positive feedback on their care, which is subject to “continual improvement”.

Forest Healthcare has no connection to Forest Care Ltd which operates homes in Hampshire and Surrey.

Inquiry

The CQC visited the home twice following the assault to assess the quality of care. It concluded: “Ash Court ensures that people who use the service are protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their rights are respected and upheld.”

Ms Worroll said she felt let down by the inquiry. She told the BBC: “When I read [the report] it was just another slap around the face. I just felt like they'd basically given [Ash Court] a clean bill of health again, bar two minor adjustments.

“It makes me worry for other people who are potentially about to put a relative into a care home.”

Judy Downey, head of the Relatives & Residents Association, a charity that supports care home residents and their families, also criticised the CQC report.

Jane Worroll's mother Maria is now living in a different care home

She said: “It doesn't say that a member of staff has been charged. It is not an honest document, it isn't a helpful document.

“This is really an area where the CQC can do so much if it uses its powers. They can actually cancel the provider's registration if they're shown not to be fit. We would suggest that that provider was very clearly shown not to be fit.”

The CQC told Panorama in a statement that its report into Ash Court made clear a “serious incident” had taken place. It visited again recently, and said that it was “confident” it had “acted swiftly and correctly in light of the evidence” available.

A spokeswoman from the Alzheimer's Society said: “Any case of abuse against a person with dementia is absolutely appalling. The most vulnerable people in our society should be treated with respect and dignity.

“Our care system in the UK is broken and underfunded. In this context, it is not surprising that there is sometimes inadequate support and abuse.

“We need to have a debate on how to ensure appropriate care is in place for people with conditions such as dementia. We also need a regulatory system in place focused on supporting care homes to actively improve standards.”

If you are being subjected to abuse, or suspect that a loved one or relative is being subjected to abuse then please get in contact on a strictly confidential basis.

Charles Derham

crd@verisona.com

02392446920


Charles has considerable specialist experience in pursuing claims for compensation for those who have been abused in childhood. His specific expertise means that he is recognised locally, nationally and internationally for his work which has taken him all over the world including, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

He is also recognised for his significant involvement in the high profile litigation against St Georges School (Anglemoss Limited) and Cyntwell High School. These cases involved a staggering number of individuals who pursued those responsible whom despite heavily defending the claims brought against them settled by way of out of court settlements.

Charles regularly features in local and national press and he is often asked to provide his professional opinion and commentary on relevant abuse law issues and developments on radio and television broadcasts. Such broadcasts include BBC South Today, BBC Wales, ITV and ITN News.

Charles is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers.

You can follow Charles on Twitter and Facebook.

Charles obtained his Law degree at Kingston University, before successfully completing his Legal Practice Course. He trained and qualified with Verisona Law beginning his specialism in the field of child abuse claims. He received his higher rights of Audience in 2012 making him one of the youngest Solicitor-Advocates in the country who is able to represent his clients in the High Court. Charles is head of the abuse team who collectively have secured compensation for hundreds of victims of abuse.

He began diversifying in to other aspects of abuse law and his team are one of the very few in the country who specialise in claims against social services.

He is involved in complex group action litigation and also represents a number of individuals and who are pursuing private companies, local authorities and perpetrators in pursuit of their justice.

Charles has strong contacts with some of the most prominent barristers who advise on abuse claims including a number of QC’s. He also has robust connections with highly qualified expert witnesses he instructs in support of those who he represents.

  • Child abuse claims
  • Claims against social services
  • Complex/Catastrophic Clinical Negligence claims

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