13 April 2012
CALL FOR TWICE YEARLY INSPECTIONS AFTER NURSE CONVICTED FOR ILL TREATMENT AND ASSAULT
Following the conviction of a nurse for assaulting an elderly resident The Relatives & Residents Association is once again calling for urgent action. We want to see the immediate reinstatement of twice yearly care home inspections.
Jonathan Aquino, a former nurse at Ash Court Care Centre, run by Forest Healthcare, was today sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment. His sentence came following his assault on 80 year old Maria Worroll, a resident at the home suffering with dementia and severe arthritis. The abuse took place in a care home which had previously been given an excellent rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Mrs Worroll’s daughter, Jane, had become concerned when she noticed bruising and swelling and a deterioration in her mother’s mood. When she tried to engage senior staff she was astonished by their defensive and dismissive attitudes. Jane then placed a camera in her mother’s room and was horrified at the callous treatment that it revealed.
Judy Downey, Chair of R&RA: “This is one of the worst cases of abuse we have witnessed. Here was a defenceless woman who did absolutely nothing to provoke her carers and yet she was treated in a most inhumane and degrading manner.
“The body which regulates care homes, CQC, had scrapped regular mandatory inspections but, under pressure from all sides, they have just reverted to once yearly inspections which takes us back to before the early 80s. This is not enough and means that abuse can still go undetected with no-one to support frail and very dependent people. Mrs Worroll’s awful ordeal only came to light because of her daughter’s vigilance but what of the many elderly who have no-one to look out for them? It is completely unacceptable that we have a care system where older people are more vulnerable today than they have been in the last twenty five years because care homes are not being inspected with the frequency and robustness needed”.
Mrs Worroll's daughter, Jane, spoke of the devastating impact “The emotional impact this experience has had on me has been completely devastating and overwhelming and one that will not just go away but will remain forever with me and my family”.
The Relatives & Residents Association is calling for twice yearly inspections in care homes to be reinstated. Additionally, we want the regulator to take responsibility for responding to serious complaints about care and conditions in care homes. We will be seeking further meetings with the Secretary of State and the regulator as a matter of urgency.