Following the Cornwall care home abuse scandal and the revelations of the appalling treatment of residents in the Winterbourne View case, it might have been hoped that lessons would have been learned. Sadly this appears not to be the case and vulnerable individuals committed to the care of professional organisations are still not properly protected.
It was announced today that seven members of staff at care homes in Devon have been charged with offences relating to the alleged ill-treatment of residents. The charges of conspiracy to falsely imprison and conspiracy to ill treat vulnerable adults arise from incidents at the Veilstone, Gatooma and Teignmead care homes in Devon. The abuse is said to have occurred between January 2010 and December 2011.
The homes, now closed following CQC inspections in 2012, were run by the Atlas Project Team Ltd and purported to care for adults with learning disabilities. Atlas is reported to have since ceased trading, although this would not prevent a victim of the abuse mounting a claim for compensation against the company.
The CQC carried out an inspection without prior warning after a member of staff at the Bideford home reported concerns.
In it’s report the CQC found staff at the homes were poorly trained, the residents privacy and dignity were not respected and staff were in some instances not even aware that their actions constituted abuse.
Safeguarding the vulnerable is of paramount concern and the CQC appear to have acted promptly in this instance. If the case is proved the perpetrators will receive the appropriate sentence. The victims should not be overlooked. They may well have been traumatised by their treatment and may be entitled to compensation which could be put to good use in providing them with the secure environment they need and appropriate therapies to overcome their experience.
If you or a member of your family has been affected by this or any similar incident and would like to discuss the matter please contact Chris Thorne.