24 April 2012
The lawyer representing an 80-year-old woman who appeared in last night’s Panorama programme after she was secretly filmed by her daughter receiving abusive treatment in a care home, has joined the voices criticising the Care Quality Commission for failing to take sufficient action after the shocking footage came to light.
Emma Jones, from law firm Leigh day & Co, represents the mother of Jane Worroll who was recorded, using a hidden camera, being rolled over and hauled roughly into bed, being fed too quickly and being slapped six times, a crime that care worker Jonathan Aquinohe would go to prison for.
However, prior to the assault the CQC had rated the home, Ash Court in London, as "excellent”. Even after the assault the CQC said the home still "ensures people who use the service are protected from abuse or the risk of abuse".
Ms Worroll’s mother suffers from Alzheimers and arthritis, and requires around-the-clock care. Six weeks after her mother moved into Ash Court, Ms Worroll noticed bruises on her arms and legs so placed a secret camera hidden in an alarm clock in her mother's bedroom.
Ms Worrall told the BBC’s Panorama programme: "[My mother] is just so vulnerable; she can't get up, she can't call for help. [The assault] is just totally sadistic."
All five of the main carers Ms Worroll filmed were sacked. Jonathan Aquino was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison in April 2012.
Forest Healthcare, which manages the home, say the assault was an isolated incident. The CQC visited the home twice following the assault to assess the quality of care. It concluded: "Ash Court ensures that people who use the service are protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their rights are respected and upheld."
Ms Worroll said she felt let down by the inquiry. She told the BBC: "When I read [the report] it was just another slap around the face. I just felt like they'd basically given [Ash Court] a clean bill of health again, bar two minor adjustments.
Emma Jones, the lawyer representing Mrs Worrall and who represented over 100 victims of abuse at the Stafford Hospital said:
“No matter how many times we have seen this kind of behavior taking place, the regulator seemingly does very little and aims to assure rather than to take the measures needed to make sure this kind of abuse doesn’t happen.”
“We call on the CQC to ensure that monitoring goes beyond ‘monitoring’ as it needs to use all of its powers to ensure that the abuse of vulnerable individuals stops. If the CQC does not have the teeth to ensure that abuse is eradicated then the government needs to set up another body and provide them with the necessary powers to ensure that we never have to see abuse such as that suffered by Mrs Worroll.
“It simply beggars belief that this can be described as a one off incident, or was it just pure “luck” that Ms Worrall set up the camera on the 2 nights that her mother received such appalling care and treatment.”
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