16 July 2018: David Barton, owner and manager of Barton Park Nursing Home, was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Friday. He had abused his position of trust as a registered owner by defrauding residents, using cruel and heartless tactics to manipulate them and exploit their worst fears.
CQC, the regulator, should pay greater attention where family members are not involved or restricted or banned from seeing residents.
He had managed to coax older residents into his care and then isolate them from friends, family and their trusted advisers for 20 years without, it seems, alerting any concerns.
This highlights just how vulnerable self-funding residents can be and how few checks and balances are in place to prevent this criminal behaviour as well as the unforgivable abuse of power and betrayal of trust.
We recommend that local authorities should have statutory responsibility for the oversight and finances of those without actively involved family and friends. It should be unlawful as well as inappropriate and a conflict of interest for care home management or staff to do this. CQC, the regulator, should cover this in their inspections, and pay greater attention where family members are not involved or restricted or banned from seeing residents. They must become more rigorous in questioning and condemning such practices where they continue to exist.
If you are worried about a resident or have been through a similar experience yourself and would like to talk it over, please contact our Helpline on 020 7359 8136.