Care home worker who slapped elderly resident is sacked after being exposed by secret filming

BBC's Panorama secretly filmed inside the Old Deanery

How we reported concerns at the home last month

Care home worker who slapped elderly resident is sacked after being exposed by secret filming

First published in News
Last updated

One care worker has been sacked and seven others suspended after secret filming uncovered residents allegedly being taunted, mocked and ignored.

An independent enquiry has been lodged at the Old Deanery care home, on Deanery Hill, Braintree, following footage recorded for the BBC's Panorama programme.

One worker was seen in footage to be slapping a woman.

A statement from care home owner Anglia Retirement Homes said: "As soon as the new management team was made aware of the allegations we took immediate action. 

"We hired an independent law firm to carry out a full investigation as a matter of urgency.

"Eight staff were immediately suspended, and have not returned to work, pending a full inquiry.

"Our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our residents and we have more than 200 dedicated members of staff who remain committed to the highest standards of care.

"The care worker responsible for slapping a resident has been summarily dismissed."

Last month, the Braintree and Witham Times revealed staff had been suspended after allegations of mistreatment were made to care home management.

Essex County Council attended a meeting with about 60 relatives of residents after being made aware of safeguarding concerns.

The Panorama edition, Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed, was broadcast last night at 9pm.

Full story in today's Braintree and Witham Times

Comments (15)

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9:54am Wed 30 Apr 14

Bert Hardy says...

Have criminal charges been brought against those staff involved?
Have the police been brought in?
What steps have the care home taken to offer compensation for failure to have correct staffing levels, or control over staff, including those previously reported?
Have criminal charges been brought against those staff involved? Have the police been brought in? What steps have the care home taken to offer compensation for failure to have correct staffing levels, or control over staff, including those previously reported? Bert Hardy
  • Score: 29

1:21pm Wed 30 Apr 14

phillip15 says...

EIGHT STAFF were suspended??? What the hell is going on? It's beyond disgusting and these people should be named and shamed so they will get what's coming to them!

It makes me wonder how common this is, as it was only exposed because of an undercover reporter!

I hope the abusers have a horrible life and will live in misery and serves them right! Disgusting human beings - no monsters!!!!
EIGHT STAFF were suspended??? What the hell is going on? It's beyond disgusting and these people should be named and shamed so they will get what's coming to them! It makes me wonder how common this is, as it was only exposed because of an undercover reporter! I hope the abusers have a horrible life and will live in misery and serves them right! Disgusting human beings - no monsters!!!! phillip15
  • Score: 15

4:52pm Wed 30 Apr 14

The Stinker Returns says...

Completely unacceptable and despicable behaviour that warrants the strongest penalties. How dare anyone treat elderly people without the proper care and respect they deserve. Makes my blood boil
Completely unacceptable and despicable behaviour that warrants the strongest penalties. How dare anyone treat elderly people without the proper care and respect they deserve. Makes my blood boil The Stinker Returns
  • Score: 14

4:57pm Wed 30 Apr 14

/@|_|@\ says...

phillip15 wrote:
EIGHT STAFF were suspended??? What the hell is going on? It's beyond disgusting and these people should be named and shamed so they will get what's coming to them!

It makes me wonder how common this is, as it was only exposed because of an undercover reporter!

I hope the abusers have a horrible life and will live in misery and serves them right! Disgusting human beings - no monsters!!!!
Nonetheless, Phillip15, whilst I may agree with your sentiments, we must await the proper proceedings to determine guilt: innocent until proven guilty, right? At that point then lay upon them the severest punishment and public shame.
[quote][p][bold]phillip15[/bold] wrote: EIGHT STAFF were suspended??? What the hell is going on? It's beyond disgusting and these people should be named and shamed so they will get what's coming to them! It makes me wonder how common this is, as it was only exposed because of an undercover reporter! I hope the abusers have a horrible life and will live in misery and serves them right! Disgusting human beings - no monsters!!!![/p][/quote]Nonetheless, Phillip15, whilst I may agree with your sentiments, we must await the proper proceedings to determine guilt: innocent until proven guilty, right? At that point then lay upon them the severest punishment and public shame. /@|_|@\
  • Score: 4

12:06am Thu 1 May 14

mrs wibblewobble says...

being a former employee of the care home in question i am shocked at the extent of the findings of the film crew. Yes, there has always been an element of bad care staff but the good always outnumbered the bad. The biggest mistake essex county council made was granting permission for the extention of this care home, it was hard enough work and always short staffed, regularly relying on agency staff when i left there 10 years ago without adding pressure on the staff by extending the size of it!!
being a former employee of the care home in question i am shocked at the extent of the findings of the film crew. Yes, there has always been an element of bad care staff but the good always outnumbered the bad. The biggest mistake essex county council made was granting permission for the extention of this care home, it was hard enough work and always short staffed, regularly relying on agency staff when i left there 10 years ago without adding pressure on the staff by extending the size of it!! mrs wibblewobble
  • Score: 5

9:27am Thu 1 May 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Lots in the national media saying Care staff are underpaid and overworked with one commentator on Radio 4 saying low pay does not entice the right people into these jobs! The pay scales are low but mrs wibblewobble makes a good point saying there are more good carers than bad carers and the majority really do "CARE". Higher wages would always be welcomed but this alone will not get rid of the uncaring, violent and vindictive staff, as portrayed in last night's Panarama.

The fault rests entirely on homes like "The Deanery" that make massive profits from their clients. The owners are more than happy to keep wages low and staffing levels tight so they can maintain their high profit margins. Also care homes often have a written policy of supporting whistle blowers but in reality any member of staff who speaks out against such atrocities is going to be marginalised.
Lots in the national media saying Care staff are underpaid and overworked with one commentator on Radio 4 saying low pay does not entice the right people into these jobs! The pay scales are low but mrs wibblewobble makes a good point saying there are more good carers than bad carers and the majority really do "CARE". Higher wages would always be welcomed but this alone will not get rid of the uncaring, violent and vindictive staff, as portrayed in last night's Panarama. The fault rests entirely on homes like "The Deanery" that make massive profits from their clients. The owners are more than happy to keep wages low and staffing levels tight so they can maintain their high profit margins. Also care homes often have a written policy of supporting whistle blowers but in reality any member of staff who speaks out against such atrocities is going to be marginalised. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 14

10:33am Thu 1 May 14

helenbach says...

Sacked !!! suspended!!!!- there is video footage of a physical assault on a helpless woman, and the headline reads" Sacked" the headline should read "Arrested" "charged" - name and shame these people,
Sacked !!! suspended!!!!- there is video footage of a physical assault on a helpless woman, and the headline reads" Sacked" the headline should read "Arrested" "charged" - name and shame these people, helenbach
  • Score: 14

11:08am Thu 1 May 14

totallyfootball says...

These people should be named and shamed, then prosecuted and jailed! We are too soft! Then after all that is done the owner of the home should have their licence removed for life!
These people should be named and shamed, then prosecuted and jailed! We are too soft! Then after all that is done the owner of the home should have their licence removed for life! totallyfootball
  • Score: 6

11:43am Thu 1 May 14

paddy16 says...

I think the Owners of care homes should be held liable as well as the carer's that inflict the pain and distress to these poor residents.
My wife and her mother work in a care home & in all honesty in there own word ''the word CARE'' is very hard to do, They are pressured into so much work that the residents hardly get the 1 to 1 care the deserve,
It all boils down to greed and management, if you don't care about your staff , how can you care about the residents!!!!
If this were another country the owners would be in courts as well as the so called carer that carries out the torture, I know many carers that are working that actually care, being told not to talk to a resident because you have no time should never happen, but sadly it does.
I think the Owners of care homes should be held liable as well as the carer's that inflict the pain and distress to these poor residents. My wife and her mother work in a care home & in all honesty in there own word ''the word CARE'' is very hard to do, They are pressured into so much work that the residents hardly get the 1 to 1 care the deserve, It all boils down to greed and management, if you don't care about your staff , how can you care about the residents!!!! If this were another country the owners would be in courts as well as the so called carer that carries out the torture, I know many carers that are working that actually care, being told not to talk to a resident because you have no time should never happen, but sadly it does. paddy16
  • Score: 5

11:58am Thu 1 May 14

Checkout says...

I agree with most of what you say paddy 16 but I'd also like to see the law changed to make directors held legally responsible for criminal offences committed by staff who are under their control.
What's the point of directors dismissing staff who they themselves have failed to properly manage? No doubt they are happy to receive remuneration for services provided but they also have a clear responsibility to properly monitor and control such provision.
A clear dereliction of duty on the part of the directors seems very likely and a public investigation.seems necessary.
I agree with most of what you say paddy 16 but I'd also like to see the law changed to make directors held legally responsible for criminal offences committed by staff who are under their control. What's the point of directors dismissing staff who they themselves have failed to properly manage? No doubt they are happy to receive remuneration for services provided but they also have a clear responsibility to properly monitor and control such provision. A clear dereliction of duty on the part of the directors seems very likely and a public investigation.seems necessary. Checkout
  • Score: 9

2:26pm Thu 1 May 14

wardyt says...

http://www.bbc.com/n
ews/world-europe-isl
e-of-man-27234969
http://www.bbc.com/n ews/world-europe-isl e-of-man-27234969 wardyt
  • Score: -1

2:52pm Thu 1 May 14

SOMETHING2SAY says...

Slap her !
Slap her ! SOMETHING2SAY
  • Score: -2

4:13pm Thu 1 May 14

LeQueen says...

Even when it was run by Nuns it was a shambles, they'd only sit with the dying if they were devout. The less devout had inferior care.

Euthanasia would be preferable to this maltreatment.
Even when it was run by Nuns it was a shambles, they'd only sit with the dying if they were devout. The less devout had inferior care. Euthanasia would be preferable to this maltreatment. LeQueen
  • Score: 1

11:47pm Thu 1 May 14

Hamiltonandy says...

The Panorama program highlighted the way secret cameras showed what was going on. Perhaps it would be better if CCTV was in every room but the recording could only be viewed by the police. That way staff would know they could not get away with abusing vulnerable residents. The major problem shown up by the program is the heavy workload of the staff and the inadequate care home inspections.
.
It is a pity so few families are prepared to look after their elderly relatives. The cost to the family or the state of nursing care can be over £1000/week. It can be challenging and draining looking after a parent but there is great satisfaction in ensuring they can stay in their own home. Also their financial resources are not destroyed but can be passed on. As a carer you gain a lot of personal skills so both sides benefit.
The Panorama program highlighted the way secret cameras showed what was going on. Perhaps it would be better if CCTV was in every room but the recording could only be viewed by the police. That way staff would know they could not get away with abusing vulnerable residents. The major problem shown up by the program is the heavy workload of the staff and the inadequate care home inspections. . It is a pity so few families are prepared to look after their elderly relatives. The cost to the family or the state of nursing care can be over £1000/week. It can be challenging and draining looking after a parent but there is great satisfaction in ensuring they can stay in their own home. Also their financial resources are not destroyed but can be passed on. As a carer you gain a lot of personal skills so both sides benefit. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 3

4:08am Wed 7 May 14

jaysoncalwell says...

We ought to love and respect the elderly ones. They need our help and affection even more; it's just sad knowing those capable of hurting people. Homecares must really be responsible for hiring their staff to be committed, persistent to help and to give support. I actually watched an online safety video at http://www.safety-tv
.com for the aged care, and I'll tell you it's a must see training resource for everyone.
We ought to love and respect the elderly ones. They need our help and affection even more; it's just sad knowing those capable of hurting people. Homecares must really be responsible for hiring their staff to be committed, persistent to help and to give support. I actually watched an online safety video at http://www.safety-tv .com for the aged care, and I'll tell you it's a must see training resource for everyone. jaysoncalwell
  • Score: 0

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