November 23, 2014
Undercover TV investigation reveals abuse, bullying at British elderly care home
A reporter working undercover for the BBC Panorama show revealed serious abuses at a care home in Essex, England. The investigation prompted the dismissal of one staff member while other seven have been suspended.
Reporter Alex Lee worked as a care assistant at the Old Deanery, a 93-bed residential home in Braintree, Essex.
“A little over a year before, 11 whistle-blowers complained about pay, staffing and poor care in a dispute with the home's then owner. They had witnessed people left in their own mess for hours, call bells ignored and residents pulled about, mocked and shouted at. It should have been a clear marker that things needed to change. My job was to find out whether things had changed, but I quickly found my experiences were hauntingly similar,” Ms. Lee wrote in an article published today in the BBC news website.
Alex was provided with expert training by the BBC to meet the job’s requirements. The care home also provided her with a "mandatory three-day training course run by their in-house trainer."
Joan Maddison was one of the residents suffering abuses at the Old Deanery.
“She has early-stage dementia and was paralysed by a severe stroke in her 50s. She was considered by some care workers to be difficult and aggressive, but over 28 mornings the cameras captured Joan often being mocked, goaded and treated spitefully by the very people who were supposed to be looking after her,” the BBC reporters said.
The Essex care home is run by the Anglia Retirement Homes company which apologized for the abuses revealed in the Panorama show although it pointed out the incidents were "not reflective of the high standards of care which we expect and demand from all of our team."