Neglect upon neglect – the report into the investigation of neglect of older persons in care homes in Wales

For a deeply depressing read on a (in London wet) Tuesday evening, you could do worse than read the report just published into the series of events known as ‘Operation Jasmine,’ – a lengthy and complex investigation by Gwent Police concerning 63 deaths which were a cause for concern in private care homes and nursing homes for older people in south east Wales, but which led to no judgments or legal resolution.   The Executive Summary outlines a series of lessons, the first, and perhaps most depressingly obvious being that scandals fix nothing permanently.   It is also entirely clear that “private interest pursued at the expense of others has a long history, however the public interest cannot be subordinate to the short term personal gains or even the criminality of a minority of directors of care homes.”  As Margaret Flynn notes:

The external scrutiny of the care and support of older people by commissioners, care managers and regulators should be matched by ensuring that companies in this sector open their boards to independent scrutiny. A lasting achievement of Operation Jasmine has to be a readiness to adopt a long term view. Companies which have demonstrably failed older people should be allowed to fail and their directors should be disqualified. They have depleted public trust. The needs of frail older people cannot be subordinate to those financially sophisticated businesses and/or powerful directors; if that situation should prevail we will remain in search of accountability indefinitely.


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2 Replies to “Neglect upon neglect – the report into the investigation of neglect of older persons in care homes in Wales

  1. Read the executive summary. Excoriating stuff. There wasn’t an agency that didn’t get some very serious suggestion to ponder, including the Police and the CPS / DPP for bumbling around, diminishing the chances of convictions in this case and restraining the freedom of action of other agencies in their ordinary duties. There are some very sharp and persuasive sentences. ‘Scandals do not improve care’. Authorities should desist from using inappopriate rhetoric about consumerism and choice, people with dementia type illnesses who wish to live near their families are not ‘happy shoppers’. My only concern is that the tone of the document be too acerbic and the recommendations too widely spread for the whole to be taken seriously.

  2. My experience and fighting for my mothers rights in 2 care homes where she received 6 fractures for 6 unseen falls in under a year and many other travesties of care she was left 2 days with a broken collar bone before seeing a Dr – I was lied to by staff the day she fell and broke her collar bone in front of a witness friend – I have photos of her injury that same day – I was told when I asked for a Dr they had spoken to the site manager who was on the way, they said this several times over 3 hours, several times by several staff – there was no site manager on duty no one came – I only found out that no site manager was scheduled that night at a later time by a receptionist who did not wan to say anything – no one came the next day as the unit manager said there was no need – if I had known the truth about no site manager I would have called a Dr myself – reports if this type of lack of care go no where – they happen all the time – no one really cares – not the authorities not the homes – they ran through a safeguarding process – the investigation was not an investigations that the likes of the general public would expect – no one was held responsible in spite of the fact the care home had been alerted many times residents were left alone for long period of time in communal areas the matter is still with the LGO 2 years later to seek redress – all the facts ignored – it was reported my mother was not in pain – they gave her 1000mg of paracetomol every 4 hours – why if no pain the maximum does they could give – you cannot break a collar bone with no pain – she had 3 further unseen falls and fractures the last put her in hospital for 3 months with a fractured disk – she then required NHS full nursing care – persons are put in care homes to keep them safe…. another time I found my mother outside her bedroom door on a chair naked from the wait down where staff had left her for who knows how long – she was sobbing and alone and frightened – safeguarding raised and nothing many other instances like this for my mum and others – the point no one take responsibility or accountability. The home is nearly always right and relatives the enemy – the truth is most homes do not want relatives around daily – we see too much – if we raise issues we are accused of being difficult – then staff start the accusations – we intimidate them – we harass them – thousands of caring family members falsely accused – check out compassion in care web site – there are some great carers out there but they also get bullied by others who feel they show them up – there is intercultural bullying and resident bullying – if you dare to raise care issues – they hint that perhaps your loved one should go somewhere else always the sword over your head – of course residents have no more rights of residency than anyone checking into a hotel – the authorities need beds, they need the care homes do people really think they are on the side of the residents or relatives, rock the boat and your loved one is out – safeguarding processes that fail the alleged victim and policies and the MCA ignored with impunity – re best interest – just words – the COP an unfathomable process where few relatives can afford representation – where best interest is also just words – cases that relatives cannot speak about – so cannot solicit help – all in secret with not even a transcript of hearings unless the Judge agrees and you pay a lot of money and have the time to gain it – a process where the applicant can draft orders that persons may not see until they enter court with no right of reply – amended orders by an applicant not shown to other parties and no way of proving that the content may not be what the Judge actually said – no help and hung out to dry in the case of authorities – they have the tax payers purse for legal representation against family members if one dare to challenge then re decisions they subject loved ones to – a place where OS do not seek their clients views or care about them or present them to the court – the person who lacks capacity a by product of a process – a place where any written slurs or defamation of character and perjury seems acceptable with no substantive evidence and the LA and other authorities can avoid responsibility and deny their own faults and ignoring of the very acts made to supposedly empower persons – where guidelines that apply to them are just that o that they can cherry pick as they wish but guidelines and recommendations are almost legally binding for service users with no legal support where legal rights are only upheld if forced by court action that no normal person can afford and where persons are guilty by allegation – reports of abuse and neglect are ignored by authorities especially if its about them – the press touches the tip of the iceberg – when many people have died or been harmed – things are known before these deaths occur but it seems prevention is not part of the plan – those who stay silent are as guilty a the perpetrators and those who whistle blow are hounded and counter accused to deflect and avoid responsibility…….rights are pointless if not enforced or policed self policing does not work the CQC do not accept individual complaints they pass back to the LA who invariably do as they wish – the silent victims older proud hard working people often treated like non entities the abuse and neglect subtle and like a virus – many care homes like prisons but with probably less to do and less visitors – talking about the state of care homes and the battle many loving relatives have is insulting to those who die needlessly lonely neglected a vile end to their once rich and full lives many of whom were around during the war soon their will be none left to honour and respect. The LA need to remember one day they may be in such a place with no voice CQC reports that underplay the hard reality and do little to enforce swift action, checking patients care plans that contain basic inaccurate facts about that person that only relatives know are incorrect – incorrect facts that care is based on – anyone going into a home gets less time spent on them than when they are cared for at home and yet we are to believe care homes are the best place for our loved ones where they will be safe 24/7 – perhaps paying relatives the same money that care homes get to keep loved ones at home would ease the burden and misery for many

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